North Korea Must Improve Relations With South, U.S. Reiterates

Further progress in North Korea’s relationship with the U.S. hinges on an improvement in the communist nation’s interaction with the South, U.S. special representative Glyn Davies reiterated today.

“We will continue to raise this issue,” the U.S. diplomat said at a briefing in Seoul after meeting his South Korean counterpart Lim Sung Nam. South Korea expects to hold further talks with the North building on progress made last year, Lim said, without offering a timeframe.

Davies and Lim met following talks between the U.S. and North Korea in Beijing earlier this week, the first since the death of Kim Jong Il. The discussions, which yielded what Davies described as “a little bit” of progress, were the third since the U.S. resumed direct talks with North Korea to bring the communist regime back to six-party negotiations on dismantling its nuclear weapons program.

North Korea backed out of the six-party talks in April 2009 and hasn’t shown any sign since Kim Jong Un took over as leader that it’s willing to resume them. The participants in the talks are Russia, China, the U.S., Japan, North Korea and South Korea.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Jun Yang in Seoul at jyang180@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Tighe at ptighe@bloomberg.net

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