US-North Korea Talks Begin in New York

Posted July 28th, 2011 at 9:45 am (UTC-5)
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North Korean diplomats have arrived at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, where U.S. special envoy Stephen Bosworth greeted them at the door, as the two delegations meet Thursday for their first high-level direct talks in 18 months.

Neither side spoke to the news media gathered outside.

Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan, who leads the North Korean delegation, has expressed high hopes for what are expected to be two days of meetings, saying now is the time “for all countries to reconcile.”

U.S. officials have been more cautious, saying they simply want to determine whether North Korea is serious about fulfilling commitments it made in 2005 to scrap its nuclear weapons programs in return for aid and diplomatic benefits.

North Korea has been seeking a resumption of six-nation talks on ending those programs; the last round was in 2008.