U.S. and North Korean Officials Meet for Talks in China
By JANE PERLEZ
BEIJING — The first official talks between the United States and North Korea since the coming to power of the youthful new North Korean leader were “serious and substantial,” the senior American negotiator said Thursday, and would extend into a second day.
The talks, designated by the Obama administration as exploratory, were seen as a way to test whether the new leader, Kim Jong-un, a man in his late 20s, was prepared to meet conditions that would allow for a resumption of long established six-nation negotiations that aim to dismantle North Korea’s nuclear arsenal.
The American negotiator, Glyn T. Davies, met the veteran North Korean nuclear official, Kim Kye-gwan, at a morning and an afternoon session held at the American and North Korean embassies in Beijing. The two men met for dinner Thursday night, and would return to formal talks Friday, Mr. Davies said.
Issues ranging from nuclear matters to nutritional assistance were covered in the talks Thursday, Mr. Davies said. He indicated little progress had been made so far.
The United States, along with South Korea, Japan, Russia and China, has called on North Korea to suspend its nuclear activities as a condition for resuming the six-nation talks. Mr. Davies was believed to be probing the North Korean negotiator on that question in Thursday’s meetings.
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