A group of American scholars say they are hopeful about the prospects for continued dialogue with Pyongyang after talks with a visiting North Korean delegation in New York.
The scholars met Monday with the delegation, which held two days of talks with senior U.S. officials last week. They said afterward their meeting had been frank but “very friendly” and that both sides appreciated the importance of continuing to talk to one another.
At the same time, the Americans said, there are still great differences between the United States and North Korea on what must be done to improve relations.
The American side in Monday’s meeting included three scholars from the National Committee on American Foreign Policy and Mark Minton, a former ambassador who is now president of the New York-based Korea Society. The North Korean delegation is headed by Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan.
Special envoy Stephen Bosworth headed the U.S. delegation at last week’s official talks, which both sides described as constructive and businesslike.
The United States said the talks were held to find out whether North Korea is ready to meet its commitment to give up its nuclear weapons programs. Washington says it must do that before any resumption of six-nation talks which would reward North Korea’s denuclearization with economic and diplomatic benefits.