North Korea discussing nuke talks
GENEVA - Agence France-Presse
Chinese Vice Premier Li (L) cheers with Choe, Premier of North Korea.
The United States and North Korea headed yesterday into a second day of talks aimed at reviving long-stalled nuclear negotiations, with Washington saying they were moving in a positive direction, while North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il met with China’s vice premier Li Keqiang.
Kim told Li that Pyongyang “hopes the six-party talks about the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula should be restarted as soon as possible”, China’s official Xinhua news agency reported early yesterday. The “principle of simultaneous action” should apply, it quoted Kim as saying -- a reiteration of the North’s stance that the negotiations should begin again without preconditions. The North formally quit the six-party forum in April 2009, a month before staging its second atomic weapons test. It has since repeatedly said it wants to come back, but Washington is demanding a physical sign of sincerity first.
State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland meanwhile said in Washington that the Geneva talks were going on in a “business-like atmosphere.” The head of the US delegation Stephe Bosworth said the goal of the Geneva talks was “to find a solid foundation on which to launch a resumption of discussions both bilateral and multilateral, and we will continue to work hard to bring that about.” However, analysts warned ahead of the Geneva meeting that little hope for a breakthrough existed as the North was unlikely to make any concessions.