SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea reasserted its opposition to terrorism Tuesday in an apparent attempt to bolster its bid for removal from a U.S. blacklist, as an American diplomat traveled to Pyongyang to help push the country's nuclear disarmament.
In a statement from the North's Foreign Ministry, the country said it "will firmly maintain its consistent stand of opposing all forms of terrorism" and also keep nonproliferation pledges made at the nuclear talks.
The ministry also said the North will take part in international efforts to prevent weapons of mass destruction from falling into terrorists' hands.
The U.S. has promised to remove the North from its list of state sponsors of terrorism if it gives a complete declaration of nuclear programs to be eventually dismantled.
North Korea missed a Dec. 31 deadline to provide a complete declaration, but handed 18,500 pages of nuclear records to the U.S. in May.
The North is on the list for its alleged involvement in the 1987 bombing of a South Korean airliner that killed 115 people. The designation effectively blocks North Korea from receiving low-interest loans from the World Bank and other international lending agencies.
The ministry's statement came after Sung Kim, the U.S. State Department's top Korea expert, traveled by land from South Korea to the North for two days of talks.
In his meetings, Kim will discuss how the North can finish several remaining steps in disabling its Yongbyon reactor as well as the possibility of blowing up a cooling tower there, according to the State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Seoul.