Group of experts on Korean affairs beginning four-day visit to Pyongyang for talks on country's nuclear weapons program.
A group of U.S. experts on Korean affairs is beginning a four-day visit to North Korea Saturday for talks on the country's nuclear weapons program.
South Korea's Yonhap news agency reports the group includes the president of the Korea Economic Institute, Jack Pritchard, the institute's research director, Nicole Finneman, and a senior official of the Asia Foundation, the director of the foundation's Center for U.S.-Korea Policy Scott Snyder.
The report quotes diplomatic sources as saying the visit is expected to pave the way for U.S. special envoy for North Korea Stephen Bosworth. Bosworth will visit Pyongyang December 8 with the goal of resuming six-party talks aimed at getting North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.
U.S. President Barack Obama announced the envoy's visit after a summit with his South Korean counterpart, Lee Myung-bak, Thursday in Seoul.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has said his country will only return to six-nation talks if there is progress in bilateral talks with the United States. Washington says bilateral talks are possible but only within the framework of the six-party talks, which also include China, Japan, Russia and South Korea.
North Korea quit the six-nation talks in April. It then went on to conduct its second nuclear weapons test, triggering tougher United Nations sanctions, which China supported.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP.