Obama Envoy ‘Encouraged’ by Talks with North Korea

Dec 14, 2009 8:03am

ABC News' Alexander Marquardt reports: MOSCOW, RUSSIA — The Obama administration’s special envoy for North Korea said Monday he is ‘encouraged’ by the talks he had with North Korea last week and said that the US is ready to sign a peace agreement if the Korean peninsula is denuclearized. “I am encouraged by the fact that North Korea is ready to renew the six-party talks,” Stephen Bosworth told reporters in Moscow following a three-day trip to Pyongyang last week. "As to timelines, there are no timelines," he added. "I would only say that we and our partners in this process, we very much want to resume this work as soon as possible. We are prepared to do that and I know that other countries are as well," he told reporters. The goal of Bosworth’s trip to the Hermit Kingdom was to bring North Korea back to the six-party talks they backed out of last year (which included South Korea, China, Japan and Russia).  Following the last meetings Friday, Pyongyang indicated that Bosworth was successful when they released a statement saying the two sides “reached a series of common understandings of the need to resume the six-party talks.” North Korea also agreed to cooperate with the U.S. to “narrow down the remaining differences.” Bosworth said Monday that the U.S. is ready to sign a peace agreement with North Korea but the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula is a key condition. A peace treaty was never signed following the Korean War, and would replace the 1953 armistice.  Peace talks would reportedly also include South Korea and China. He also said that for the time being the U.S. will no longer negotiate with North Korea on a bilateral basis, instead relying on “certain channels” within the United Nations framework. 
 
– Alexander Marquardt 

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