New round of nuke talks with N.K. unlikely this year: official
Published : Dec 11, 2011 - 21:33
Updated : Dec 11, 2011 - 21:33
Prospects are dim for South Korea and the United States to hold a new round of bilateral meetings with North Korea, though diplomatic efforts are under way to organize fresh talks, a senior government official said Sunday.

Since earlier this year, Seoul and Washington have held two rounds of one-on-one negotiations with North Korea to get the communist nation to take concrete steps to demonstrate its commitment to denuclearization before restarting the broader six-party nuclear talks.

The media has speculated that a third round of meetings could take place by year’s end.

But the official told reporters that it “appears to be difficult” to hold new talks with the North before the end of the year.

“The U.S. and the North as well as the South and the North have been exchanging signals, but it is still insufficient,” the official said on condition of anonymity. “There is a diplomatic maxim that unless everything is agreed, nothing is agreed.”

South Korea and the U.S. have demanded that Pyongyang halt its uranium enrichment activity and take other steps to show it is serious about giving up its nuclear programs before the resumption of the six-party talks involving the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the U.S.

But the North has called for restarting the six-party talks without preconditions. (Yonhap News)