North Korea on Tuesday issued a statement in Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui’s name, announcing plans to resume working-level negotiations with the US.
The US and North Korea agreed to get together for a preparatory meeting Oct. 4, ahead of working-level talks the following day, according to the statement.
US President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un pose before a meeting at the Sofitel Legend Metropole hotel in Hanoi on Feb 27. (AFP)
“Our representatives are ready to engage in North Korea-US working level talks,” Choe said in the statement.
“I hope that improvements in North Korea-US relations will be accelerated through these working-level talks.”
Working-level talks between the two sides had been expected to resume sometime in July, after US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met at the border village of Panmunjom on June 30.
After the North’s announcement, Cheong Wa Dae said it welcomed the decision and hoped substantive progress would be made at the meeting to achieve complete denuclearization and establish lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.
When a working-level meeting did not materialize as soon as had been expected, Washington had repeatedly called on Pyongyang to come back to the negotiating table, suggesting more flexible approaches for the next round of denuclearization talks.
In recent weeks, the North has renewed its demands for security guarantees and sanctions relief from the US, urging Washington to take a new approach to move their stalled nuclear talks forward.
On Monday, North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations said it was up to Washington to turn any future negotiations into a “window of opportunity” or “an occasion that will hasten the crisis.”
By Park Han-na (firstname.lastname@example.org)