North Korea assured the U.S. it was ready to eliminate nuclear weapons located on the Korean peninsula Tuesday, while the U.S. said it recognized North Korea as a "sovereign nation."
The talks Tuesday are the fourth such six-nation negotiations, which also include China, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the United States. They are reconvening after a 13-month boycott by the North, which cited "hostile" U.S. policies.
North Korea agreed to return to the talks following a meeting earlier this month between Kim and the main U.S. envoy, Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill, who assured the North that Washington recognized its sovereignty, the AP informs.
The negotiations are the first since North Korea in February announced it had created nuclear weapons. The U.S. is seeking a verification process that would eliminate all of North Korea's nuclear-related programs, including uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said earlier this month, reminds Bloomberg.
Unlike the previous rounds, which were scheduled for several days, no end date has been set for this week's resumed negotiations. Hill said Tuesday his delegation would remain in Beijing "so long as we are making progress in these talks."
"Nuclear weapons will not make (North Korea) more secure," he was quoted as saying by The AP. "And in fact, on the contrary, nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula will only increase tension in the region."
"The fundamental thing is to make real progress in realizing the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan said at the opening session of the talks in Beijing.
"This requires very firm political will and a strategic decision of the parties concerned that have interests in ending the threat of nuclear war," he said. "We are fully ready and prepared for that."
Neither the North Koreans nor the Americans offered any new proposals or concessions in their opening comments. South Korea's envoy, Deputy Foreign Minister Song Min-soon, repeated his nation's offer of massive electricity aid to the North if it agrees to disarm.
Russia, as a country also interested and solicitous about the results of the negotiations, hopes to accept a joint document in which all the principal approaches to denuclearization will be shown.
Head of the Russian delegation Deputy Minister of Foreign affairs of Russia, Aleksander Alekseev, accentuated the parties need to work out common methods to solve these subjects.
"We come out in favor of the Korean peninsula avoid of nuclear weapons," Alekseev said.
According to Alekseev, the measures to denuclearize the peninsula must be synchronized in time and take in diplomatic, political, economical and humanitarian aspects.
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