North Korean Negotiator Indicates Desire for Progress in Nuclear Talks

North Korea's top nuclear negotiator has indicated a willingness to resume the stalled negotiations on his country's nuclear weapons programs. Kim Kye Gwan began his first full day of a rare visit to Japan by a top North Korean official.

North Korea's chief nuclear negotiator is officially in Tokyo to attend a privately organized forum on Northeast Asian security issues.

Delegates from the other five countries involved in separate six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear weapons programs, including the United States, are also to attend the forum.

Those talks have been stalled for months. Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan, Pyongyang's top nuclear negotiator, and several other North Korean officials have been granted rare permission by Japan to visit here, in hopes that discussions can take place on re-starting the negotiations.

Kim raised just that possibility Saturday, when he paid a visit to a pro-Pyongyang association of Korean residents in Japan.

Kim says North Korea has decided to actively pursue multilateral and bilateral contacts in order to advance the six-party talks.

The chief American negotiator, Christopher Hill, is to arrive in Tokyo on Monday, and Wu Dawei, China's top representative to the six-way discussions, which Beijing has been hosting, will also attend the security conference.

So will officials from South Korea, Japan and Russia, who have also been involved in the Beijing talks.

A U.S. State Department spokesman said Friday that there were no plans for Hill to meet with Kim, but that possibility has not been ruled out.

The U.S. university organizing the conference and Japanese Foreign Ministry officials both stress that the conference was not designed to deal with the nuclear issue, but will give the parties an informal opportunity to share views on the matter.

North Korea began a boycott of the talks after the U.S. imposed sanctions on several North Korean companies, and a bank in Macau that has had extensive dealings with Pyongyang. Washington says the North Korean companies have been involved in illegal money-laundering, narcotics trafficking and currency counterfeiting by Pyongyang.

Washington says the nuclear programs and the alleged illegal activities are two separate issues, and has urged Pyongyang to return to the negotiating table.


Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steve Herman is VOA's Southeast Asia Bureau Chief and Correspondent, based in Bangkok.

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugeesi
Henry Ridgwell
October 08, 2015 8:02 PM
Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs