World Asia 14 May 2017 North Korea agrees t ...

North Korea agrees to talk to US 'if conditions are set'

Published May 14, 2017, 4:15 pm IST
Updated May 14, 2017, 4:33 pm IST
The official did not elaborate on what the North's conditions are, but it is possible that US and North Korea are returning to talks.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. (Photo: AP)
 North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. (Photo: AP)

Beijing: A top North Korean diplomat said that Pyongyang would be willing to meet with the Trump administration for negotiations "if the conditions are set."

Choe Son Hui, director general for North American Affairs at the Foreign Ministry, spoke briefly to reporters in Beijing on Saturday en route to Pyongyang. 


She was traveling from Norway, where she led a delegation that held an informal meeting with former US officials and scholars.

Choe did not elaborate on what the North's conditions are, but her comments raise the possibility of North Korea and the US returning to negotiations for the first time since 2008, when six-nation talks over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program fell apart.

President Donald Trump opened the door this month to talks, saying he would be "honored" to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Tensions have mounted in recent months after the Trump administration said it would keep "all options on the table" to halt North Korea's nuclear weapons program, including a military strike.


The North responded by pledging to retaliate with a devastating nuclear counter attack, a threat it has made in the past.

In recent weeks, North Korea has arrested two American university instructors and laid out what it claimed to be a CIA-backed plot to assassinate Kim. Choe did not address the matter of the detained Americans on Saturday.

In Norway, Choe met with former US officials and scholars for what are known as "track 2" talks. 

The talks, which cover a range of nuclear, security and bilateral issues, are held intermittently, and are an informal opportunity for the two sides to exchange opinions and concerns.


Location: China, Peking, Peking