Seoul: North and South Korean negotiators
are likely to meet next week for a second round of talks aimed
at restarting stalled six-nation nuclear disarmament
negotiations, a news report said today.
The South`s chief nuclear negotiator Wi Sung-Lac and his
counterpart Ri Yong-Ho of North Korea are likely to hold talks
in Beijing, possibly on Wednesday, Yonhap news agency said.
"At this stage, high-level authorities of South and North
Korea are exploring the possibility of holding talks in
Beijing," it quoted an unidentified senior government official
A director for foreign press at the foreign ministry said
she had no information.
The two envoys held talks in July on the Indonesian
island of Bali -- the first-ever North-South meeting on
nuclear issues outside the six-party format.
It was followed by a US-North Korean meeting in New York
aimed at restarting the talks grouping China, Japan, the
United States, the two Koreas and Russia.
The North abandoned the six-party talks in April 2009 and
conducted its second nuclear test a month later. But
diplomatic efforts to restart the dialog have picked up this
The North`s leader Kim Jong-Il reportedly told President
Dmitry Medvedev during a visit to Russia last month that
Pyongyang was ready to resume the dialog.
Kim also expressed readiness to impose a moratorium
without preconditions on enrichment work and testing once the
forum restarted, according to the Kremlin.
But both the United States and South Korea dismissed the
proposal as nothing new, with Seoul calling for action before
the discussions resume.
In addition to its plutonium programme, which is believed
to have produced enough material for six to eight bombs, the
North last November disclosed a uranium enrichment plant.
It says this is for peaceful energy use but experts say
it could easily be reconfigured to make material for atomic
South Korea, the United States and Japan agree the North
must forgo the uranium enrichment programme (UEP) before the
six-party talks resume, a senior Seoul government official
told reporters this month.
"Shutting down all illegal nuclear activities including
the UEP and promising not to do what`s illegal in the future
are the minimum requirements for opening the six-party talks,"
he said on condition of anonymity.