ABC News' Kirit Radia (@KiritRadia_ABC) reports:
Starting tomorrow U.S. officials will meet for two days in New York with a delegation from North Korea to discuss the resumption of talks aimed at ending Pyongyang’s nuclear program.
The interagency American delegation, led by Special Envoy to North Korea Stephen Bosworth, will meet at the US Mission to the United Nations with a North Korean team headed by Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan, their top nuclear negotiator.
“This will be an exploratory meeting to determine if North Korea is prepared to fulfill its commitments under the 2005 joint statement of the six-party talks and its international obligations, as well as take concrete and irreversible steps towards denuclearization,” State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner told reporters today.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton extended the invitation over the weekend after a meeting between North and South Korea on the sidelines of regional meetings in Bali last week showed promise.
Still, a U.S. official said at the time that the U.S. was not willing to move ahead with talks just for the sake of it. Secretary Clinton has already staked out a firm US position ahead of the meeting.
“As we have stated repeatedly, we are open to talks with North Korea, but we do not intend to reward the North just for returning to the table. We will not give them anything new for actions they have already agreed to take. And we have no appetite for pursuing protracted negotiations that will only lead us right back to where we have already been,” she said in a statement on Sunday.
The so-called Six Party Talks, which also include South Korea, Japan, Russia, and China, have been stalled for more than two years, after North Korea walked out following UN sanctions that were imposed following its second nuclear test in 2009. Last year North Korea expressed interest in returning to negotiations.