Published September 18, 2013
BEIJING – North Korea's leading nuclear envoy is calling for a new round of six-nation denuclearization talks without preconditions.
First Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan's remarks in Beijing on Wednesday are unlikely to gain traction in Washington. U.S. officials have rejected new discussions before the North makes a clear commitment to carry out earlier promises to disarm.
South Korea and Japan are also dubious of such calls. The other two parties to the talks, Russia and China, have been more supportive of getting the dialogue back on track.
The last round of talks in 2008 broke down over how to verify North Korea was meeting its pledges. Pyongyang has since ramped up tensions with a third nuclear test and missile launch, bringing a tightening of U.N. sanctions against the isolated regime.