North Korea has said that it is ready to resume six-party negotiations on nuclear disarmament after a year of boycott, provided they are preceded by direct talks with the United States.
REUTERS - North Korea’s Foreign Ministry called on Monday for direct talks with its long-time foe, the United States, and said it was ready to return to stalled six-country nuclear disarmament negotiations.
Last month, leader Kim Jong-il said he was ready to consider a return to the nuclear talks his state once declared dead provided it had direct discussions with Washington. The Foreign Ministry spokesman’s comments were the strongest yet on the secretive state’s intention for resuming dialogue.
“The conclusion we have reached is that the direct parties, which are the North and the United States, must first sit down and find a rational solution,” the spokesman said in comments reported by the official KCNA news agency.
“Now that we have shown the generosity of stating the position that we would be willing to talk to the United States and hold multilateral talks including the six-way talks, it is time for the United States to make a decision.”
U.S. academics and former officials said on Friday after meeting Pyongyang’s second ranking nuclear envoy that the North appeared to be more open to resuming the six-way talks on its nuclear programme after boycotting it for nearly a year.
Destitute North Korea has been reaching out to its traditional foes after being hit by U.N. sanctions to punish it for its second nuclear test in May that were aimed at cutting into its vital revenue source of overseas arms sales.
Date created : 2009-11-02