The US is Ready to Resume Direct Talks with North Korea on its Nuclear ProgramWorld | August 21, 2019, Wednesday // 11:27| views
The United States is ready to resume direct business discussions with North Korea over its nuclear program, said North Korea's special envoy for the DPRK, Stephen Biegun, in Seoul, reported BTA.
Bilateral talks have stalled since the failure of the second Hanoi summit in February between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
At the time, Washington and Pyongyang failed to understand the cessation of North Korea's nuclear programs in return for lifting economic sanctions.
The completion of the annual joint US-South Korean military exercises, which the DPRK sees as hostile, yesterday, however, seems to create conditions for resuming negotiations.
"We are ready to start discussions as soon as our North Korean counterparts contact us," Stephen Biegun said.
According to rumors in the press, a meeting could be held between Americans and North Koreans in the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas. This could happen during Stephen Biegun's three-day visit to Seoul yesterday.
He has rejected media speculation that he will become the next US ambassador to Russia and said he is "fully committed" to his current mission.
North Korea has always criticized the joint military exercises of the United States and South Korea, which it considers preparing for a future invasion of its territory.
Nearly 30,000 US troops are stationed in South Korea.
On August 10, Donald Trump revealed the contents of a letter from Kim Jong-un and assured on Twitter that the North Korean leader wanted to resume the talks and promised to suspend missile tests after the end of joint military exercises.|
Stephen Biegun arrived in Seoul from Japan and will visit China tomorrow. He said he appreciated the "strong and lasting" trilateral cooperation between the US, South Korea and Japan in the context of historic and trade tensions between Seoul and Tokyo, Reuters notes.