World / Asia-Pacific

US: No sign Pyongyang wants to restart meeting

By Associated Press in Beijing (China Daily) Updated: 2014-12-13 08:05

Despite the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's recent freeing of three US captives, the Asian country's leadership appears no closer to reopening a dialogue with the outside, the chief US envoy said on Friday.

Ambassador Sung Kim said the US and others still believe that Six-Party Talks on ending the DPRK's nuclear programs are the best way to proceed. Kim said the US would also welcome talking directly with the DPRK if there was a possibility of substantive discussions.

But he told reporters in Beijing at the end of a regional visit that the DPRK had ignored the opportunity for discussions that presented itself with the release of the three US citizens in October and November.

"Unfortunately, we haven't seen any indication that the release of American citizens is changing North Korea's attitudes or approach on the nuclear issue," Kim said. "On the important question of how we can resume serious negotiations toward denuclearization, so far they have indicated no interest in doing so."

The Six-Party Talks - including Japan, Russia, China and the Republic of Korea - stalled six years ago when the DPRK withdrew.

US citizens Jeffrey Fowle, Kenneth Bae and Mathew Miller were released unconditionally by the DPRK. Bae and Miller left Pyongyang aboard an official US government plane accompanied by US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, marking a rare visit to the DPRK by a US Cabinet official.

The two countries have no formal diplomatic relations as tensions continue between the DPRK and the Republic of Korea, a US ally.

(China Daily 12/13/2014 page11)

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