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N. Korea's vice FM 'satisfied' with New York talks

Wrapping up a weeklong stay in New York, North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan Tuesday expressed satisfaction with the results of his talks with U.S. officials and said he expects further dialogue.

"(I) am satisfied with talks this time," Kim told reporters before his departure. "Dialogue will continue down the road."

He said more bilateral meetings are needed before multilateral negotiations can resume.

"Isn't it good for each other to reconcile and guarantee security?" he added. "Think. What benefits come from fighting and criticizing each other, whether between the North and the U.S. or the North and the South?"

Kim had two days of talks with Stephen Bosworth, the State Department's special representative for North Korea policy, last week. It marked the first high-level dialogue between the two sides since December 2009.

The U.S. stressed that it was just a preliminary meeting to see if Pyongyang is ready for serious denuclearization talks.

The State Department did not confirm whether the U.S. agreed to have additional bilateral talks with North Korea, citing the need to consult with the other members of the six-party talks on terminating the communist nation's nuclear weapons program -- South Korea, China, Japan and Russia.

The North's ambassador to the United Nations, Sin Son-ho, also made clear that his country wants dialogue.

"Now is the era of dialogue," he told reporters separately.

He said it is too early to say whether the North will invite a South Korean government official to visit there.

"Anyway, the DPRK has a position to continue dialogue," he said, using the acronym for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Meanwhile, the North's vice foreign minister plans to return to Pyongyang via Beijing. It has not been confirmed how long Kim will stay in the Chinese capital.

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