South Korea's Foreign Minister Ban Ki Moon is in Washington for discussions with U.S. officials on North Korea's nuclear program. Both countries are represented in six-nation talks on the North Korean nuclear crisis. The talks are set to resume in Beijing at the end of this month.
Speaking on CNN's "Late Edition," South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-Moon sounded upbeat about the current round of six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear program.
"I think during last round of our six party talks, we have entered into a stage of real and substantive negotiations," he was quoted as saying by Reuters. "This is what we have been doing and, with close consultations between Korea and the United States, also with other related parties, I think we are more or less optimistic that we will be able to result in a substantive resolution of nuclear weapons program this time."
The talks also include North Korea, China, Japan and Russia.
Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun reported on Sunday that a U.S. satellite detected signs North Korea recently restarted a reactor that could be used for the extraction of material to make nuclear warheads.
Ban said he had not yet been able to confirm the report but would continue to closely monitor the situation, according to Reuters.
He urged North Korea not to take any steps that might aggravate the ongoing discussion on nuclear issues.
Resolution of the nuclear impasse could eventually lead to normalisation of relations between Pyongyang and Washington, ending hostility stretching back to the 1950-1953 Korean War and bringing North Korea out of its deep international isolation.