North Korea Calls for Nuclear Talks to Resume

Foreign minister urges countries to return to negotiations "without preconditions"

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Six-party talks involving the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia, and the U.S. have been stalled since late 2008.

North Korea wants to resume multilateral talks over its nuclear program.

“We are ready to enter the six-party talks without preconditions,” said North Korea’s First Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan on Wednesday at a forum organized by the Chinese government in Beijing.

The “preconditions” set by South Korea and the U.S. “are in violation of the spirit of the Sept. 19 joint statement,” he said, referring to a breakthrough agreement reached at six-party talks in 2005.

Negotiations, which involve the two Koreas, the U.S., China, Russia and Japan, have stalled since 2008.┬áKim’s announcement comes just days after reports emerged that North Korea had restarted its Yongbyon nuclear reactor.