North Korea may join nuclear talks

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North Korea is "not eager" to return to six-party talks on relinquishing its nuclear weapons ambitions, but has not rejected the idea, a United Nations envoy said yesterday as fresh diplomatic activity raised hopes for progress on the issue.

North Korea's chief nuclear envoy, Kim Kye-gwan, who is now in China, will make a rare visit to the US next month, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported, indicating the long-stalled talks might be back on track. UN sanctions and a botched currency devaluation that nearly halted commerce late last year have increased pressure on the destitute North to return to talks to win aid and to prop up its economy.