North Korea, US nuclear talks to resume

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019 00:00 |
State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus. Photo/AFP

Seoul, Tuesday

North Korea on Tuesday said it will hold working-level nuclear talks with the US on Saturday, signalling the resumption of much-anticipated negotiations after the collapse of a summit in February.

The two sides agreed to have “preliminary contact” on October 4 and hold working-level negotiations the following day, the North’s vice foreign minister Choe Son Hui said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.

Positive development

“It is my expectation that the working-level negotiations would accelerate the positive development of the DPRK-US relations,” she added without disclosing the talks’ venue. 

North Korean officials were “ready” to enter the discussions, she said. 

The US also confirmed that it will resume nuclear talks with North Korea in a matter of days. “I can confirm that US and DPRK officials plan to meet within the next week,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus (pictured) said.

Negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington have been gridlocked since a second summit between North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump in February ended without a deal.

The two agreed to restart working-level dialogue during an impromptu meeting at the Demilitarized Zone dividing the two Koreas in June, but the North’s anger at a US refusal to cancel joint military deals with South Korea placed the process on hold.

Relations thawed last month after Trump fired his hawkish national security advisor John Bolton, who Pyongyang had repeatedly denounced as a warmonger.

North Korea’s chief negotiator also responded positively to Trump’s suggestion that the two sides try a “new method” of approaching their discussions. — AFP

More on World