Tuesday, February 9, 2010

N. Korea's Kim Jong Il sends nuclear envoy to China

North Korea nuclear test locationImage by luistxo eta marije via Flickr

clipped from www.usatoday.com
SEOUL (AP) — North Korea's Kim Jong Il reportedly dispatched his top nuclear envoy to Beijing on Tuesday to discuss restarting nuclear disarmament talks, a day after pledging Pyongyang's commitment to a nuclear-free Korean peninsula.

Kim made the disarmament pledge during a meeting Monday with a high-level envoy from Beijing at the start of a week of diplomacy designed to get the six-nation nuclear talks back on track. A high-level U.N. envoy also flew to Pyongyang on Tuesday for a four-day trip.

North Korea has made clear it wants U.N. sanctions lifted and a peace treaty with Washington formally ending the 1950-1953 Korean War before it returns to the disarmament talks. Pyongyang cites the U.S. military presence in South Korea as its main reason for building up its nuclear weapons program.

Washington says Pyongyang must come back to the talks first before any discussion about political and economic concessions.

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