Senior figures from North Korea and U.S. meet for talksUpdated: 2014-05-23 16:38:11 (KST)
Senior figures from North Korea and the United States have been holding talks this week for the first time since the purge and execution of Pyongyang's second most powerful figure, Jang Song-thaek late last year.
A delegation of North Korean officials, headed by vice foreign minister Ri Yong-ho , was scheduled to hold a meeting with Stephen Bosworth, the former U.S. special representative for North Korea policy, along with other North Korean experts in Mongolia on Friday.
The meeting is part of a series of so-called "1.5 track meetings" that began last September, when the two groups met for the first time in Berlin.
"With North Korean nuclear problem still unresolved, it's significant that the countries are holding talks through the 1.5 track meetings, where the two can narrow down their differences."
North Korea also has talks with Japan slated for this coming Monday, where diplomats from the two countries will be joined by representatives from Sweden to discuss Pyongyang's past abductions of Japanese citizens and its nuclear program.
But despite the diplomatic activity,.. North Korea continues its provocative actions.
It fired artillery in the direction of a South Korean warship near the de facto maritime border separating the two Koreas on Thursday.
"Overall, they are trying to mix up diplomatic maneuvers and provocative actions on the Korean peninsula. The thing is we, the international community, have not seen the North Korean behavior that offers a passway to negotiating settlement."
At this rate, North Korea is unlikely to find a breakthrough in its efforts to engage itself with the outside world anytime soon.
Yoo Li-an, Arirang News.
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