North Korea has indicated its interest in holding direct talks with the United States, a news report said, after the two sides traded barbs over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programs at a security forum.
“We are not against a dialogue. We are not against any negotiation for the issues of common concern,” Japan’s Kyodo news agency quoted North Korean ambassador to the United Nations Sin Son Ho as saying Friday.
But the ambassador, speaking in New York, dismissed the possibility of a return to stalled nuclear negotiations involving the two Koreas, the U.S., Japan, China and Russia, saying “the six-party talks are gone forever.”
The U.S. has offered to hold talks with the North within the six-nation process if it returns to the negotiating table and takes irreversible steps for denuclearization.
Last weekend, Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Kurt Campbell indicated that the chances for direct talks between North Korea and the U.S. were slim. “Our bilateral negotiations are between the U.S. and South Korea about our collective approach” to the North, Campbell told reporters in Seoul.
Great! Now we can start getting somewhere!