US Undecided on Second Nuclear Meeting With North Korea

Posted October 7th, 2011 at 3:10 pm (UTC-5)
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The United States says it has not decided whether to hold a second bilateral meeting with North Korea to discuss the long-stalled talks on Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program.

The top U.S. official on East Asian affairs, Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell, said President Barack Obama and his South Korean counterpart, Lee Myung-bak, will discuss an “appropriate way forward” on North Korea when they meet next week in Washington.

Campbell made his remarks Friday in Seoul, after holding talks with South Korea's foreign minister.

In July, North Korean and U.S. diplomats held a rare round of bilateral discussions in New York on ways to revive the six-party talks aimed at getting North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program.

North Korea has been seeking a resumption of the six-party talks, which also include Russia, China and Japan. Pyongyang abandoned those talks in 2009, but now wants to return to the negotiating table.

South Korea and the U.S. have insisted that it first follow through on past promises to disarm.

While in Washington President Lee will address a joint meeting of Congress on October 13. House Speaker John Boehner announced Friday that he has invited Mr. Lee to speak because South Korea has been a strong U.S. partner in promoting democracy, advancing economic freedom and combating nuclear proliferation.

South Korea is the second stop on Campbell's Asian tour, after a visit to Japan on Thursday. He will also travel to Hong Kong, Brunei, Thailand and China.