Wed, January 05, 2011
World > Asia-Pacific > Korean Peninsula Tension

US envoy meets with ROK chief negotiator

2011-01-05 06:46:32 GMT2011-01-05 14:46:32 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

US special envoy to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Stephen Bosworth (L) and the Republic of Korea (ROK)'s chief nuclear negotiator Wi Sung-lac talk at the latter's office in Seoul Jan 5, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

SEOUL- US special envoy for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) policy Stephen Bosworth met here Wednesday with Wi Sung-lac, the Republic of Korea (ROK)'s chief envoy to nuclear talks as he seeks to coordinate opinions of countries involved in stalled six-party talks over the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

The two-day visit to Seoul by Bosworth, who will also make stops in China and Japan as part of his Asian tour, is expected to give the long-stalled talks a new momentum prior to a scheduled summit between US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao in Washington later this month.

At the meeting earlier in the day, Bosworth and Wi Sung-lac reportedly discussed possible conditions for reopening the nuclear talks and next steps on the issues. Bosworth also held a separate meeting with the ROK Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan, where he reportedly reasserted Washington's commitment to the alliance with Seoul.

The US envoy on Tuesday called for "serious negotiations" as a key strategy in dealing with Pyongyang. "We look forward to being able to launch those (negotiations) at a reasonably early time," he told reporters when he arrived in South Korea.

Seoul is reportedly considering demanding its northern neighbor dismantle all existing nuclear programs, allow inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency in for monitoring and carry out the joint statement issued in 2005 by six-party countries on denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, according to local news reports.

President Lee Myung-bak recently said he hopes to achieve Pyongyang's nuclear disarmament this year through the six-way negotiations, in an apparent reversal in his usual hard-line stance against Seoul's former wartime rival.

Pyongyang, which once declared the six-way talks dead, also expressed its will to return to the negotiating table.

The last round of talks, hosted by China, was held in December 2008.

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