N. Korea's Kim willing to discuss nukes

Sept. 18, 2009 at 9:50 AM

PYONGYANG, North Korea, Sept. 18 (UPI) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong Il said Friday he is willing, through talks, to resolve the country's nuclear dispute with the international community.

Kim commented on his willingness to consider either bilateral or multilateral discussions during a meeting with China's presidential envoy, Dai Bingguo, in Pyongyang, North Korea, Yonhap, the South Korean news agency reported.

"North Korea will continue to maintain its goal of denuclearization and make efforts for the protection of peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula," China's state-run new agency Xinhua quoted Kim as saying. "I hope to resolve this issue through bilateral or multilateral dialogue."

Dai arrived in North Korea Wednesday in a stepped-up regional effort to bring Pyongyang back to denuclearization talks.

North Korea had pledged to end its nuclear program in exchange for diplomatic and economic consideration from other members of the so-called "six-party talks" -- China, Russia, Japan, South Korea and the United States -- but walked away from the table to protest U.N. sanctions imposed over a long-range rocket test. The country conducted its second nuclear test in May, drawing stronger U.N. sanctions.

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