Diplomat: U.S. government open to dialogue with North Korea

Diplomat: U.S. government open to dialogue with North Korea

Post ID: 31782 | POSTED ON: Feb 01, 2012

WASHINGTON D.C — The U.S. government is open to diplomacy with North Korea under the new leadership of Kim Jong-un, a senior U.S. diplomat told reporters on Wednesday. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell, a key diplomat between the United States and Asia, told reporters in the South Korean capital of Seoul that the U.S. government would have no problem strengthening its relationship with North Korea. “We are open to diplomacy with North Korea,” he was quoted as saying by the Korea Times. But Campbell went on to say that such a dialogue would only be possible if North Korea decides to follow a clear set of steps. “There’s a very clear set of steps that we think are necessary. The steps have been closely coordinated with Japan and particularly with South Korea and we’re still waiting to see whether the new government in North Korea is prepared to take the necessary steps.” he said. Last month, the communist state announced the death of its leader Kim Jong-il. According to the North Korean government, he died on December 17 after suffering an ‘advanced, acute myocardial infarction, complicated with a heart shock,’ while on a train for a ‘field guidance tour.’ Observers believe the leader actually died at home in Pyongyang. The United States has been meeting with Asian leaders in Seoul for the past few days and the renewed call for talks, mainly over North Korea’s nuclear program, comes just weeks after Kim Jong-un assumed power as Supreme Leader following the death of his father. Six-party nuclear disarmament talks have been stalled since late 2008 due to North Korea’s anger over United Nations sanctions. It was followed by a nuclear test in North Korea’s North Hamgyong province on May 25, 2009, as well as a series of test-firings of missiles.

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