North Korea will rejoin talks on its nuclear program
SEOUL, South Korea -- North Korean officials said on Wednesday that the country agreed to return to the stalled six-party talks on its nuclear program because of a promise that a United States-led crackdown on its financial dealings would be "set...
SEOUL, South Korea -- North Korean officials said on Wednesday that the country agreed to return to the stalled six-party talks on its nuclear program because of a promise that a United States-led crackdown on its financial dealings would be "settled."
Referring to North Korea by the initials of its formal name, the country's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the decision to return to the talks was based "on the premise that the issue of lifting financial sanctions will be discussed and settled between the DPRK and the U.S. within the framework of the six-party talks."
U.S. officials said on Tuesday that they had agreed to discuss the crackdown during the new round of talks, but that they had made no promises about lifting the financial sanctions. They were imposed last year to counter what American officials said was extensive counterfeiting of U.S. currency by the Pyongyang regime.
Chinese officials said Wednesday that they will continue to enforce the financial sanctions as well as sanctions approved by the U.N. Security Council after North Korea conducted a nuclear-weapon test on Oct. 9, news services reported.
Chinese officials told foreign diplomats in Beijing on Wednesday that China wanted the six-party talks to resume by the end of November, Japan's Kyodo news agency reported.
Analysts said now that North Korea has tested a nuclear device, it probably will seek larger concessions from Washington than it had before.
They also said North Korea may not intend to bargain in good faith at all, and that its return to the talks may instead be a tactic meant to win an easing of sanctions and to drive wedges between the U.S. and Japan on one side and China and South Korea on the other.