NK to Return to Nuclear Talks in Early April
North Korea plans to return to the stalled nuclear disarmament talks early April, a South Korean daily said Saturday, citing a North Korean official.
A North Korean official in Beijing said, "North Korea has decided its policy to participate in the six-party talks early April," JoongAng Ilbo said.
JoongAng didn't name the North Korean official. It's also not clear whether the North Korean source is a diplomat at the North Korean embassy in China or an official who was visiting China.
The news, which has yet to be confirmed, is the first indication from North Korea regarding the timetable for resuming the talks.
North Korea will also "present its own roadmap for denuclearization at the six-nation forum," the North Korean official was quoted as saying.
"We will watch how the U.S. will respond to our progressive posture. Now the ball is moving into Washington's court," the North Korean official said.
The remark is seen as a sign that the North is likely, at least, to affirm its denuclearization will at the six-party talks, not to torpedo the precarious momentum of the six-way nuclear negotiation, JoongAng said.
South Korea is currently engaged in a fine-tuning process with the other parties to the talks, including the U.S. and China, to have the nuclear negotiation held in the indicated time period, the newspaper said, citing an unnamed South Korean official.
Wu Dawei, the top nuclear envoy of China, which hosts the talks, earlier this month said he expects the six-party talks to restart within the first half of this year. Yet, he also added, it was "difficult to say" whether the timetable would be realized.
The North began to boycott the on-again-off-again nuclear talks last April after the U.N. denounced its rocket launch, which the North said was a scientific research, but the U.S. and its allies said it was a disguised long-missile testing.