N Korea, US to hold working-level denuclearisation talks on October 5

DN Bureau

North Korea and the United States have agreed to hold working-level denuclearisation negotiations on October 5 in a bid to accelerate Pyongyang's disarmament process, the reclusive communist country's state media said on Tuesday.

US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at the DMZ
US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at the DMZ

Pyongyang: North Korea and the United States have agreed to hold working-level denuclearisation negotiations on October 5 in a bid to accelerate Pyongyang's disarmament process, the reclusive communist country's state media said on Tuesday.

Citing a statement from North Korea's First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui, state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that Pyongyang and Washington have agreed to hold "preliminary contact on October 4 and hold working-level negotiations on October 5." However, the venue for the upcoming negotiations was not disclosed, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported.

"The delegates of the DPRK side are ready to enter into the DPRK-US working-level negotiations," Choe said in a statement while referring to North Korea's official name -- Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"It is my expectation that the working-level negotiations would accelerate the positive development of the DPRK-US relations," she added.

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The upcoming talks will mark the first denuclearisation dialogue between the two countries following the breakdown of the Hanoi summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump in February.

In that meeting, no agreement was reached due to differences over Pyongyang's demands for sanction waivers in exchange for steps done to dismantle its nuclear programme.

Saturday's upcoming negotiations also come for the first time after North Korea carried out projectile launches in an apparent protest over the recent joint military exercise between South Korea and the US. In June, Trump and Kim had held an impromptu meeting at the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) where the two leaders agreed to resume working-level talks to put the stalled denuclearisation negotiations back on track.

Also Read: South Korean fighter jet patrols over islands disputed by Japan 

Both Trump and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo had expressed hope that talks with North Korea would resume soon. North Korea has repeatedly insisted that the removal of penalties will help spur economic growth, while the US has reaffirmed that sanctions will not be removed till the communist country completely stops its nuclear weapons programme. (ANI)

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