North Korean Envoy in Beijing for US Nuclear Talks

Posted February 21st, 2012 at 12:05 am (UTC-5)
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North Korea's top envoy to the six-nation negotiations on its nuclear program has arrived in Beijing, where he will hold talks this week with his American counterpart.

First Vice-Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan arrived in Beijing Tuesday, two days before his scheduled meeting with U.S. envoy Glen Davies. The meeting will be the third between the U.S. and North Korea since July, and the first since the death of leader Kim Jong Il last December 17.

The two sides will discuss a possible resumption of the six-nation talks, which are aimed at persuading North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons program in exchange for food, energy and aid. Pyongyang walked away from the talks in 2009, and eventually conducted a second nuclear test and further testing of its ballistic missiles.

North Korea has been seeking a resumption of the six-party talks, but South Korea and the U.S. have insisted that it first follow through on past promises to disarm. Months before his death, the late Kim Jong Il expressed a willingness to impose a moratorium on his country's nuclear program if the talks resume.

China, Russia and Japan are the other nations involved in the negotiations.