Published : 2013-10-27 19:34
Updated : 2013-10-27 19:34
Top nuclear negotiators of South Korea and the U.S. plan to meet early next month in Washington to discuss ways to achieve progress on ending North Korea’s nuclear program through long-stalled dialogue.
Cho Tae-yong, the Foreign Ministry’s special representative for Korea peninsula peace and security affairs, is to have talks with Glyn Davies, U.S. special representative for North Korea policy, as early as in the first week of November. The exact schedule will be finalized shortly, ministry officials said.
“There will be consultations between concerned nations in the very near future,” a senior ministry official told reporters on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue.
“As China has recently shown an active position toward dialogue with North Korea, naturally the South and the U.S. are moving toward more in-depth discussions while maintaining their existing stance.”
The envisioned meeting comes as Pyongyang, with strong backing from Beijing, calls for unconditional, high-level dialogue with Washington and a restart of the six-nation denuclearization negotiations, last held in 2008.
But the South and the U.S. remain solid in their demand that the communist regime first prove its sincerity with action, given recent progress in its atomic program such as the reactivation of the 5 megawatt reactor at the Yongbyon complex capable of producing plutonium for bombs.
As the chief nuclear envoy, Cho made his first trip to Washington in June and had a trilateral consultation also with Shinsuke Sugiyama, then director-general of the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s Asian and Oceanian affairs bureau. Davies was in Seoul in September.