Pyongyang (AsiaNews / Agencies) - North Korea is eager to return to six party talks, but also wants bilateral dialogue with the United States to progress.
North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, made the announcement of the intention of renewing talks in his farewell address to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at the conclusion of his visit to Pyongyang.
The North Korean agency KCNA reported that Kim said they “are ready for multilateral dialogue, depending on the outcome of dialogue" between North Korea and the United States.
According to KCNA, Kim said that "efforts to achieve the denuclearization of the [Korea] peninsula remain unchanged."
The six party talks (between North Korea, South, China, Russia, Japan and the United States) have proceeded in fits and starts since 2003 in an effort to convince Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear program in exchange for food and energy. Last April, North Korea had "permanently" withdrawn from talks after the UN had condemned the launch of long-range missiles. After a hardening of international sanctions, Pyongyang, in May, carried out its second nuclear test.
The United States has already expressed willingness for bilateral dialogue, but only if they lead to the denuclearization of the peninsula.
The meetings of these days between Chinese Premier and the 'dear leader' spectacularly warm with hugs, kisses, dinner and shows, and according to KCNA - "proceeded in an amicable atmosphere overflowing with friendship from its beginning to its end ".
The visit of Wen Jiabao in recent days - to celebrate 60 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries – has saved North Korea from isolation. The latest sanctions imposed by the UN have put the country in great difficulty: loans and money transfers have been blocked and several North Korean ships are stranded in Asian ports for inspection.
Beijing is Pyongyang’s largest economic partner and the two countries are linked by a mutual d
For many analysts, the statements of Kim Jong-il are just words. The South Korean Yonhap agency says that North Korea is preparing to reopen the Yongbyon nuclear reactor, closed during the six party dialogue.