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US: NK Likely to Accept Conditions for Nuke Talks

Posted September. 21, 2009 08:49,   


A leading U.S. diplomat has said North Korea will apparently accept conditions to return to the six-way nuclear talks.

Kurt Campbell, U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asia and Pacific Affairs, was responding to a reporter’s question in Tokyo Friday on a Chinese media report on North Korean leader Kim Jong Il. Kim was quoted as saying his government is willing to hold “bilateral or multilateral talks” to resolve his country’s nuclear program.

“If I understood that report correctly, and I haven’t seen it, it sounds as if North Korea is underscoring that it will accept those conditions,” Campbell said.

He added that the most significant progress made over the past few months is sticking to the six-party framework in negotiations on North Korea’s nuclear program.

On Kim’s intent behind his comment, Campbell said he has yet to see the news on Kim’s comment and he does not have complete understanding of what Kim said.

Campbell said any negotiation with Pyongyang must be held within the six-party framework but that bilateral talks are possible within that framework, including those between the U.S. and North Korea and Japan and North Korea, and between the two Koreas.

He also ruled out bilateral interaction by Washington with Pyongyang outside the six-party talks.

In Washington, U.S. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told a daily news briefing Friday that the U.S. will identify North Korea’s intent after getting details from the Chinese government.