MOSCOW – North Korea said Friday that it favors the implementation of a year-old agreement to abandon its nuclear programs in exchange for aid and security guarantees, the ITAR-Tass news agency cited a Russian envoy as saying after consultations in Pyongyang.
Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Alexeyev also said North Korea expressed the desire for a swift, negotiated resolution of the confrontation over its nuclear activities, which has deepened after it claimed to conduct a nuclear test this week, ITAR-Tass reported.
The comments appeared to be a signal from Pyongyang, which faces potential sanctions, that it wants discussions. But there was no indication of concrete plans to resume six-nation talks stalled since last year, nor any suggestions that Pyongyang has abandoned it opposition to U.S. financial measures it has cited as the reason for refusing to resume the negotiations.
Pyongyang said it "wants to resolve the issues linked with the de-nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in the near future through negotiations," ITAR-Tass quoted Alexeyev, Russia's envoy to the six-party talks, as saying after a meeting with his North Korean counterpart.
Alexeyev also said North Korea wanted the realization of a document adopted after the third round of the six-nation talks in September 2005, the agency reported.
Pyongyang agreed to abandon its nuclear programs in exchange for aid and security guarantees, but implementation quickly dimmed and the talks broke off later last year.