Monday, August 01, 2011

North Korea calls for fresh six-party talks

North Korea reiterated its call Monday for a resumption of six-party talks without preconditions, its state-run news agency reported from Pyongyang.

The call follows a rare visit to the United States by North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kae-Gwan, who met with senior U.S. officials last week. It was the first direct meeting between North Korean and U.S. officials since North Korea pulled out of six-party talks in 2008.

In addition to the United States and North Korea, the six-party talks involved China, Japan, Russia and South Korea. The goal was nuclear disarmament on the Korean peninsula.

North Korea has called for the resumption of six-party talks without preconditions before. The United States and South Korea, however, have insisted on some tangible demonstration that North Korea is serious about denuclearisation.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said recently, for example, that the United States hoped to determine in its meetings with the North Korean foreign minister whether North Korea is ready to "take concrete and irreversible steps toward denuclearisation."