U.S. lawmakers returning from the North Korean capital are optimistic about the resumption of talks to deal with the North's &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/main/18/88/350/11033_putin.html ' target=_blank>nuclear weapons programs.
Republican Representative Curt Weldon told reporters in Seoul Friday he believes six-party talks about the North Korean nuclear issue can resume in weeks rather than months. Mr. Weldon led five other U.S. lawmakers in a visit to&to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/2003/02/27/43784.html ' target=_blank>Pyongyang, where they spent the past four days, and met with North Korea's second highest official, Kim Yong Nam. It is the team's second visit to North Korea in 18 months.
North Korea boycotted talks scheduled for last September, citing what it says is a "hostile attitude" by the United States, says Voice of America.
According to the Turkish Press, the US president will be inaugurated for a second term next week and members of the congressional delegation led by Republican Curt Weldon said North Korea would be watching out for a friendly gesture from Bush, notably during his State of the Union address that will follow later in January. Bush used his 2002 State of the Union speech to brand North Korea part of an "axis of evil," a term that inflamed Pyongyang's leadership.