Nuclear envoys of South Korea, U.S. discuss resumption of 6-party talks
After nearly four hours of marathon discussions on Monday in Washington, South Korea and the United States reaffirmed their shared position on the conditions for a reopening of the stalled six-party denuclearization talks.
Describing the meeting as "very productive and useful," South Korea's chief nuclear envoy Cho Tae-yong said he had reaffirmed with his U.S. counterpart Glyn Davies that they are in sync and in the process of fine-tuning their strategy.
Davies said that the two officials discussed all aspects of the North Korea issue, adding that the talks were part of an intensive series of discussions that they have had in recent weeks.
The meeting comes on the heels of a visit to Washington by Chinese nuclear negotiator Wu Dawei, and Davies is believed to have briefed his South Korean partner on his latest meeting with Wu.
After his visit to Washington, the Chinese diplomat, who is also scheduled to meet with Cho next week in Beijing, paid a surprise visit to Pyongyang on Monday, fueling speculation that a resumption of the multilateral denuclearization dialogue may be near.
However, Seoul's foreign ministry said it's too early to discuss specific progress made.
"We are hoping for productive discussions on measures to make concrete and substantive progress."
The six-party talks involving the two Koreas, the United States, China, Japan and Russia have been stalled since late 2008.
Beijing, as Pyongyang's closest ally, has been active in its efforts to bring its isolated neighbor back to the negotiating table, while Seoul and Washington say the North must first take steps to show it is sincere about denuclearization before the talks can resume.
"Cho and Davies will meet again on Tuesday for further discussions, which will be followed by a trilateral meeting between representatives of South Korea, the U.S. and Japan.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News."
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