Tags: North Korea | nuclear talks | State Department | Kim Jong-un

WaPo: US, NKorea Hold 'Talks About Talks' on Nuke Cutbacks

Tuesday, 03 February 2015 11:22 AM

The United States and North Korea have been having "talks about talks" aimed at sitting down and hammering out a "denuclearization" treaty down the line, according to The Washington Post.

Nuclear officials for both countries have held informal discussions in Singapore about potentially resuming the stalled six-nation negotiations to reduce the secretive regime's nuclear weapons ambitions, multiple sources tell the newspaper.

But they have not yet been able to agree to the possible conditions for a return to the table or been able to tie down the logistics about where such a meeting could occur, though Beijing has been proposed.

"We want to test if they have an interest in resuming negotiations," a senior U.S. administration official said. "I think we've made it very clear that we would like to see them take some steps first."

According to the official, North Korea would have to stop work at the country's nuclear facilities and pledge not to carry out more nuclear tests.

The unofficial talks open the door for a new round of diplomacy between Washington and Pyongyang, even though relations between the governments has been increasingly strained in recent weeks over the furor surrounding the movie "The Interview."

After the widespread hack attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, the U.S. blamed it on North Korea, retaliating for the controversial film, which centers on a plan to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

President Barack Obama vowed to get even for the act of cyber terrorism, and then imposed new sanctions to limit North Korea's access to the international financial system, the Post reported.

North Korea says that it would suspend nuclear tests if the U.S. and South Korea canceled annual military drills. But the State Department rejected the proposal and called it "an implicit threat."

But the government's immediate rejection of the North Korean offer disappointed some U.S. officials, who would like to eventually see a nuclear settlement between them, according to the paper.

However, behind the scenes last month American officials met in Singapore with Ri Yong Ho, North Korea's vice foreign minister, to check "the lay of the land," according to the Post, citing a source.

The meeting resulted in the proposal that Sung Kim, the U.S. special envoy for North Korea policy, meet with a North Korean counterpart in the coming months.

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The United States and North Korea have been having "talks about talks" aimed at sitting down and hammering out a "denuclearization" treaty down the line, according to The Washington Post.
nuclear talks, State Department, Kim Jong-un
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2015-22-03
Tuesday, 03 February 2015 11:22 AM
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