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US, North Korean Officials Set to Resume Nuclear Talks in Stockholm

5
Oct,2019

0

U.S. and North Korean officials are set to resume working-level nuclear talks in Stockholm.They will be the first formal negotiations since U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agreed in June to restart them after they collapsed in February at a summit in Vietnam.The talks broke down over how to pace sanctions relief with steps to dismantle North Korea’s nuclear program.U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in Greece Saturday he is “hopeful” progress would be made and that U.S. negotiators arrived in Stockholm “with a set of ideas.”It is not clear if either side has softened their negotiating stance, though recent developments suggest an increased willingness to work towards a deal.Late last month, Trump said a “new method” to the nuclear talks would be “very good,” echoing similar language North Korean officials have used for months.North Korea has repeatedly said it is not willing to unilaterally surrender its nuclear weapons. Pyongyang, instead, prefers a phased approach in which the U.S. takes simultaneous steps to relieve sanctions and provide security guarantees.Until recently, most Trump White House officials insisted they were not interested in a phased approach, and that North Korea must agree to completely abandon its nuclear weapons before receiving sanctions relief.Saturday’s expected talks came days after North Korea said it test-fired a new ballistic missile developed for a submarine launch. 


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