Nuclear talks can resume, say North and South Korea

Nuclear envoys from North and South Korea emerged smiling from a face-to-face meeting yesterday, saying they were ready to work together to resume disarmament talks.

The meeting was the first between the two nations since 2008, when international efforts to end Pyongyang's nuclear arms programme collapsed, and the announcement was certain to be welcomed in regional capitals and Washington. But diplomats also have long experience with seeing the North engage in negotiations and seemingly making concessions before ultimately throwing up roadblocks that prevent real progress.

South Korea and the US say North Korea must demonstrate a commitment to denuclearisation before any negotiations can resume.

The two Koreas remain in a technical state of war because their three-year conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty, in 1953. "We agreed to make efforts to resume the six-party talks soon," said Ri Yong Ho of North Korea.