2013-06-17 18:19:33

Six-party talks on N. Korea could resume

(Vatican Radio) A day after North Korea surprised Washington by offering talks, momentum may be building for a resumption of six-party negotiations.

South Korea responded cautiously to the North's proposal and said the North should take steps towards giving up its nuclear weapons.

South Korea's presidential office said President Park Geun-hye spoke to President Barack Obama for 20 minutes by phone, in which Obama reportedly briefed her on his recent talks with China's leader.

Separately, Beijing said it expects a senior North Korean envoy to head there for talks later this week.

And in Washington on Wednesday, envoys from Japan and South Korea are expected to discuss prospects for resuming the six-party talks on North Korea, which were frozen for the past four years.

Those talks last broke down when North Korea disagreed with the way the other side proposed to verify its steps towards nuclear disarmament.

Meanwhile, the United States responded to the offer on Sunday saying it wants to see firm action. Obama’s chief of staff told an American broadcaster the North Koreans cannot "talk their way out of very significant sanctions" they are currently under.

Listen to Alastair Wanklyn’s report: RealAudioMP3

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