Published: Sun, May 14, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

North Korea open to dialogue with US, if conditions are right

North Korea open to dialogue with US, if conditions are right

Now, South Korea's new president says he is willing to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un - if, of course, the conditions are right.

Choe Son-hui, an official in the North Korean foreign ministry responsible for North American affairs, told reporters in Beijing that bilateral talks between Pyongyang and Washington would be considered.

Choi said Pyongyang would be willing to meet with the Trump administration for negotiations "if the conditions are set", briefly to reporters en route to Pyongyang.

Hwang Jaeho, an global studies professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul, said the timing for the belt and road summit was significant, with signs that tensions were already easing following the inauguration of new elected South Korean president Moon Jae-in.

When asked whether Pyongyang is preparing to hold dialogue with Seoul's Moon administration, Che replied, "We will observe the situation".

However, he would prefer a diplomatic outcome to the dispute over its nuclear and missile programmes.

Thousands of soldiers were seen attending the event in photos released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

Boyle suggested that pulling the THAAD system out of South Korea could be accomplished as part of an overall deal among between the United States, China and North Korea for the denuclearization of the North.

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"We urge the relevant authorities to immediately detect and arrest and hand over" the wanted individuals, who were "targets of due heavy punishment", it said in a statement carried by Pyongyang's state media.

The accusations come amid high tensions between the USA and North Korea, which in recent months ramped up missile and nuclear tests in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions. It says it needs such weapons to defend itself against foreign aggression.

A North Korean parliamentary committee sent a rare letter of protest to the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday over its new package of tougher sanctions.

"Track-two meetings are routinely held on a variety of topics around the world and occur independent of USA government involvement", a State Department official said.

In his Oval Office interview with Bloomberg News on May 1, however, the US president declared that he was open to meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong-un "under the right circumstances".

The U.S. and North Korea have been repeatedly lobbing warnings back and forth about impending military action.

"Track-two meetings are routinely held on a variety of topics around the world and occur independent of USA government involvement", a State Department official said, Yonhap reported.

Moon has said he would "go to Pyongyang if conditions are met" during his inaugural address and had proposed the reopening of a jointly operated factory park in the right circumstances.

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