US favours ‘credible’ talks with North Korea

Washington, June 17 (IANS) Reacting to North Korea’s desire to hold talks with the US, the White House Sunday said it wants to have “credible” negotiations with Pyongyang, provided the Asian nation first reflects its readiness to abide by its obligations.

“Our desire is to have credible negotiations with the North Koreans,” reported Xinhua citing Caitlin Hayden, spokeswoman for the National Security Council, US.

“We have always favoured dialogue and, in fact, have open lines of communication with the DPRK (North Korea),” she said. “But those talks must involve North Korea living up to its obligations to the world, including compliance with UN Security Council resolutions, and ultimately result in denuclearisation.”

Hayden said, however, Washington would judge Pyongyang “by its actions, and not its words”, and was looking forward to “seeing steps that show North Korea is ready to abide by its commitments and obligations”.

Earlier in the day, a North Korean government spokesperson proposed high-level talks with the US “to defuse tension and realise regional peace and security on the Korean Peninsula”.

“We, as a nuclear state, no matter others recognised or not, propose high-level talks between the DPRK and US governments to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula, and establish regional peace and security,” reported North Korea’s KCNA news agency citing a National Defence Commission spokesperson.

“If the US is truly interested in easing tensions on the Korean Peninsula, and securing peace and security in the region, including the US mainland, it should not speak about holding talks or making contact on the basis of preconditions,” the spokesperson added.

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