Korean nuclear envoy attempts to restart talks

South Korea's top nuclear envoy travelled to the US today for talks on how to convince North Korea to return to stalled international disarmament negotiations.

Wi Sung-lac said his trip would focus on possible direct talks between Washington and Pyongyang as a way to resume broader six-nation nuclear talks involving the two Koreas, the US, China, Russia and Japan.

North Korea has been insisting on one-on-one negotiations after it pulled out of the six-party talks to protest at international criticism of its rocket launch.

Washington, which had strictly demanded the North first return to the six-party talks, is now considering direct talks as part of its efforts to restart the six-party process.

On Friday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il reportedly expressed willingness to engage in "bilateral and multilateral talks", an indication the country could rejoin the six-party process.

Mr Wi's office said the envoy would accompany officials attending the UN General Assembly and meet US officials to discuss the resumption of the six-party talks.

On Friday North Korea's state media said the country had dispatched a delegation led by Vice Foreign Minister Pak Kil Yon to the UN General Assembly.

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