North Korea's Top Nuclear Envoy to Engage in US Talks

Senior official will visit US this week
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 24, 2011 3:54 PM CDT
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, Sunday, July 24, 2011.    (Saul Loeb)
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(Newser) – A senior North Korean official will visit the United States this week to discuss the possible resumption of long-stalled international negotiations on ending Pyongyang's nuclear programs, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said today. Clinton's invitation for North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan to visit New York follows a crucial meeting Friday between nuclear negotiators from North and South Korea on the sidelines of a regional forum of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, in Bali. It was the first such meeting since disarmament talks collapsed in 2008, and the envoys agreed to work toward the resumption of six-nation negotiations.

"We are open to talks with North Korea, but we do not intend to reward the North just for returning to the table," Clinton said in a statement announcing Kim Kye Gwan's trip to the US. "We will not give them anything new for actions they have already agreed to take. And we have no appetite for pursuing protracted negotiations that will only lead us right back to where we have already been." During Kim's trip, he will meet with a team of US officials to explore his country's commitment to returning to the international talks and taking concrete steps toward disarmament.

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