NK, US end ’constructive’ talks in New York
NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Yonhap) -- North Korea and the United States have completed this week's talks in New York, which both sides called "constructive."
Speaking to reporters separately, North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan and Stephen Bosworth, the U.S. special representative for North Korea policy, gave no details on whether substantial progress was made in their two-day discussions.
"Talks were very constructive and business-like," Kim said, leaving the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in the afternoon. "(I) will try to continue momentum down the road."
In a brief statement, Bosworth stressed that Washington is open for dialogue with Pyongyang as long as it is serious about denuclearization.
"We reiterated that the path is open to North Korea towards the resumption of talks on improved relations with the United States and greater regional stability if North Korea demonstrates through its actions that it supports the resumption of the six-party process as a committed and constructive partner," he said.
The Kim-Bosworth talks this week, their first in 19 months, were aimed at exploring ways to restart the multilateral nuclear negotiations that also involve South Korea, China, Japan and Russia.
The U.S. has tried to limit media expectations, characterizing the meetings as "exploratory and preliminary" to see if the unpredictable communist nation is ready for full-scale dialogue on bilateral ties and the long-troubled denuclearization work.
In Washington, the State Department announced that Robert King, special envoy for the improvement of North Korea human rights, joined the second-day session.
King traveled to Pyongyang in late May to determine if it needs imminent food aid.
"I can't preclude that food aid may come up (in the New York meeting), but no decisions have been made about food aid," department spokesman Mark Toner said about an hour before the end of the talks.
He strongly indicated that the U.S. will take some time to decide whether to continue talks with the North.
"We're going to consult with our partners, certainly South Korea, but also our other six-party talk partners, and I think that we will assess next steps following these meetings," he said.
He refused to confirm how long the North Korean official will stay in the U.S. Kim is reportedly scheduled to attend an academic seminar in New York on Monday and fly out of the country the following day.