U.S. Secretary of State HIllary Rodham Clinton says talk that goes nowhere with North Korea will be viewed as cheap when discussions to explore resuming stalled nuke talks resume this week in New York.
Clinton says the U.S. is open to talking with North Korea in negotiations to rid the communist nation of its nuclear programs, but she says action is the only thing that will matter if talks are to resume.
North Korea's vice foreign minister will visit the U.S. this week to discuss the next steps needed to resume international negotiations to rid the communist nation of its nuclear programs that broke off in 2008.
The news that North Korea's foreign minister will visit the U.S. to explore resuming six-nation talks between North Korea, South Korea, the U.S., China and Russia was viewed as positive -- as long as it's not just for show, Clinton says.
We are open to talks with North Korea, said Clinton, in a statement issued Sunday while she traveled abroad, but we do not intend to reward the North just for returning to the table. We will not give them anything new for actions they have already agreed to take. And we have no appetite for pursuing protracted negotiations that will only lead us right back to where we have already been.
Clinton says North Korea's first vice minister and former chief nuclear envoy Kim Kye Gwan will visit New York this week to meet with senior U.S. officials to explore resuming the six-country nuclear talks.
Clinton says Kim will meet with an interagency team of U.S. officials. Clinton says the United Nation's position with North Korea and its nuclear program remains that the country must comply with commitments made in 2005 under the Joint Statement of the Six Party Talks, relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions, and terms of the Armistice Agreement.
(The New York meeting) will be an exploratory meeting to determine if North Korea is prepared to affirm its obligations under international and Six Part Talk commitments, as well as take concrete and irreversible steps toward denuclearization, said Clinton, America's chief diplomat.
Two days ago nuclear negotiators from North and South Korea met for the first time since disarmament talks broke off in 2008. North Korea walked out of those talks to protest international criticism of a prohibited long-range rocket launch. The country was not supposed to do the launch, according to its agreement, but it did it anyway -- and when international countries including the U.S. and South Korea complained, North Korea ended the six-country nuclear negotiations.
But now some think North Korea is serious about resuming talks, and that the country is showing just that by initiating discussions on U.S. soil.
Kim Yong-hyun, a professor at Seoul's Dongguk University, told the Associated Press that Friday's meeting between officials from North and South Korea was a sign that talks are close to resuming. Yong-hyun predicted the six-country nuclear talks could resume as early as September.
It's a positive sign, he said.
North Korea and South Korea have been technically at war since 1953 because a three-year conflict between the countries at that time ended in a truce, not an official peace treaty. Tensions have flared in recent years as North Korea has refused to discuss and reach agreement on its nuclear programs.
But in the meeting Friday between North and South Korea, envoys representing the countries agreed to work toward the resumption of stalled talks, progress viewed by international leaders as very positive since conflicts and threats have grown over the course of the past year, raising tension levels throughout Korea and abroad.
South Korea was recently selected to host the 2018 Winter Olympics. The Olympic selection committee noted in its report deciding upon Pyeongchang as the host site that tensions between North Korea and South Korea were an issue, but not big enough to rule out the qualified site.