N Korea calls for talks with US

North Korea’s top governing body on Sunday proposed high-level nuclear and security talks with the United States in an appeal

Written by Associated Press | Pyongyang | Published:June 17, 2013 1:23 am

North Korea’s top governing body on Sunday proposed high-level nuclear and security talks with the United States in an appeal sent just days after calling off talks with rival South Korea.

The National Defence Commission (NDC) headed by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un issued a statement through state media proposing “senior-level’’ talks to ease tensions and discuss a peace treaty for ending the Korean War.

The Obama administration said Sunday it was receptive to North Korea’s proposal for high-level talks,but wants “credible negotiations” that will lead to a nuclear-free North.” Those talks have to be real. They have to be based on them living up to their obligations,to include on proliferation,on nuclear weapons,on smuggling and other things,” said Denis McDonough,President Barack Obama’s chief of staff.

The rare proposal for talks between the Korean War foes follows months of acrimony over North Korea’s provocative acts that drew tightened UN and US sanctions.

North Korea will not give up its nuclear ambitions until the entire Korean Peninsula is free of nuclear weapons,an NDC spokes-man said in a statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency. “The denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula… should involve denuclearising the whole peninsula,including South Korea,” the spokesman said. The unnamed spokesman called on the US to propose a venue and date for talks but warned against setting preconditions.

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