October 3, 2014 / 10:09 PM / in 3 years

U.S. says North Korea must take meaningful steps for talks to resume

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States responded on Friday to an offer by North Korea to resume talks on its nuclear program by reiterating that Pyongyang must first take meaningful steps toward denuclearization and refrain from provocative acts.

North Korea's Ambassador to the United Nations So Se Pyong gestures during an interview with Reuters at the Permanent Mission of North Korea in Geneva October 2, 2014. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

So Se Pyong, North Korea’s Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, told Reuters on Thursday that Pyongyang was ready to resume the so-called six-party talks and was not planning a nuclear or missile test.

A U.S. State Department spokesperson said Washington remained committed to “credible negotiations” to implement a 2005 agreement for North Korea abandon its nuclear-weapons program. Despite that agreement, Pyongyang tested nuclear devices in 2006 and 2009.

“But the onus is on North Korea to first take meaningful actions toward denuclearization and refrain from provocations,” the spokeperson, who did not want to be identified by name, said by email.

“(North Korea‘s) recent provocations and continuing violations of its international obligations call into question its commitment to taking steps necessary to live up to its obligations and commitments.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after talks with North Korea’s foreign minister in Moscow on Wednesday that he saw a possibility that the stalled talks involving North Korea, South Korea, Japan, China, Russia and the United States could resume, but this would take time.

On Monday, the U.S. special representative for North Korean policy, Glyn Davies, said North Korea has rejected U.S. efforts to discuss the cases of three Americans being held in the country on charges of crimes against the state. He said Pyongyang was missing a chance to build relations with Washington.

Reporting by David Brunnstrom; Editing by David Gregorio

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