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Koreas agree to resume anti-nuclear talks 'as soon as possible'

North and South Korea agree that talks involving world powers should begin as quickly as can be arranged.

North Korea's chief nuclear negotiator Ri Yong Ho speaks to media after his meeting with southern counterpart Wi Sung-lac.
North Korea's chief nuclear negotiator Ri Yong Ho speaks to media after his meeting with southern counterpart Wi Sung-lac.
Image: Firdia Lisnawati/AP

THE TWO KOREAN nations have agreed that talks with international powers aimed at ending North Korea’s nuclear programme should resume as soon as possible.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said the decision to resume talks had been made following a rare face-to-face meeting between the two Koreas’ chief nuclear negotiators.

The unusual meeting was held on the sidelines of the latest Regional Forum of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which is continuing in Bali.

The ‘six party talks’ – which involve the Koreas, Russia, China, Japan and the United States – began in 2005 after North Korea decided to withdraw from an international non-nuclear treaty.

They broke down in 2009 when North Korea was sanctioned by the UN for testing an intercontinental ballistic missile. The North then indicated that it would not participate in any future talks, or be bound by any previous agreements.”

The talks between the two nuclear negotiations should now pave the way for meetings between the two countries’ foreign ministers this Saturday, Kyodo reported.

It is expected that those talks will form the first stage of the planned resumption of those talks, which would involve North Korea engaging directly with the South. The second phase would see North Korea meet with the United States.

More: EU will provide €10m in food aid to North Korea

More: North Korea vows military action against South over ‘target practice’ photos

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Gavan Reilly

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