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US, North Korea meet 'will yield little'

Experts doubt discussion will reignite six-party nuclear talks

A railway bridge between North Korea and China
A railway bridge between North Korea and China
  • ucanews.com staff, Seoul
  • Korea
  • February 15, 2012
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Experts today expressed doubts that upcoming talks between the United States and North Korea in Beijing to discuss the communist country’s controversial nuclear program will see any substantive progress.

They will be the first such talks since the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.

State Department spokesperson, Victoria Nuland, said yesterday that the US envoy for North Korea, Glyn Davies, will meet with Kim Kye-gwan, the North Korean deputy foreign minister on February 23, with the aim of restarting disarmament negotiations.

Both countries had a first round of talks in New York in July and a second meeting in Geneva in October. The third meeting was postponed following the death of Kim.

Martin Lim Kang-taeg, a senior research fellow at the Korean Institute for National Unification, said it was unlikely the discussions would directly lead to the resumption of nuclear negotiations.

“I don’t think the meeting will kick start the six-party talks [between Japan, China, North and South Korea, Russia and the US] since there will be presidential elections in South Korea and the US this year,” Lim said.

North Korea walked out of the talks in 2009.

Hyun In-ae, a refugee from the North who defected in 2004, said “There will be little progress since there is no difference in inter-Korean relations even though the North Korean leadership changed.”

The coordinator of the North Korea Intellectuals Solidarity said the North still regards South Korea as a hostile country and only courts South Korea when it needs aid.

“We hope the meeting will bring the prospect of six-party talks closer,” an official at the Ministry of Unification said today.

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