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US Urges North Korea To take Steps Toward Denuclearization

  • Margaret Besheer

North Korean diplomats return to the Ronald H. Brown United States Mission to the United Nations, July 28, 2011, in New York

North Korean diplomats return to the Ronald H. Brown United States Mission to the United Nations, July 28, 2011, in New York

The United States said at the end of two days of denuclearization talks with North Korea “that the path is open” towards the resumption of Six-Party talks, improved relations with the United States and greater regional stability if Pyongyang clearly demonstrates that it supports the process “as a committed and constructive partner.”The talks are the highest-level between the two governments since a visit to North Korea by a senior U.S. envoy nearly two years ago.

U.S. Special Envoy for North Korea Stephen Bosworth led the U.S. inter-agency delegation that met with North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kae-Gwan at the United States Mission to the United Nations.

The diplomats met most of Thursday and for a little over three hours on Friday. Afterwards, Ambassador Bosworth told reporters the talks were designed to explore the willingness of North Korea to take concrete and irreversible steps toward denuclearization.

“In that regard, these were constructive and business-like discussions," said Bosworth.

He went on to say that the resumption of the Six-Party talks begun in 2003, but which North Korea withdrew from in 2009, is possible.

“We reiterated that the path is open to North Korea towards the resumption of talks, improved relations with the United States, and greater regional stability, if North Korea demonstrates through its actions that it supports the resumption of the Six-Party process as a committed and constructive partner," he said.

Ambassador Bosworth said that before deciding on next steps to resume the process, the United States would consult closely with South Korea and its other partners in the Six-Party talks. Those countries include China, Japan and Russia.

Earlier, as he departed the meetings, North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kae-Gwan told the throng of reporters outside the U.S. Mission that the two-day long talks covered “comprehensively” issues of mutual interest and that the discussions were “very constructive and business-like”. He indicated that the two sides would maintain contact.

The New York meetings come a week after negotiators from the two Koreas had what both sides said was a constructive meeting in Bali, Indonesia, on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum.

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