U.S. envoy comments on N. Korea talks

SEOUL, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- Washington is willing to engage with North Korea bilaterally within the framework of the six-party denuclearization talks, the U.S. envoy to South Korea said.

"The U.S. remains willing to engage North Korea bilaterally within the framework of the six-party process," Ambassador Kathleen Stephens told a group of lawmakers at the South Korean National Assembly in Seoul Tuesday, Yonhap news agency reported.


Pyongyang has called on the United States to engage in bilateral talks as a condition for the Communist country's return to the six-nation talks on its nuclear disarmament. The six nations are China, Japan, Russia, the United States, North Korea and South Korea.

The Yonhap report said North Korea, after numerous provocations including its second nuclear test in May, has invited Stephen Bosworth, the U.S. special representative for North Korea policy, to visit Pyongyang.

North Korea said Monday it is up to the United States to make the next move, or it "will go its own way."

Stephens said any bilateral dialogue on the North's nuclear program would ultimately be dealt with as a multilateral issue, the report said.

"We do think this (the nuclear stalemate) is a multilateral issue, not a bilateral issue simply with the U.S., although we are certainly prepared to play our role," she said.


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