US and North Korea talk food and 'other topics'


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The Independent Online

The US and North Korea resumed talks yesterday that had been delayed by the death of North Korea's long-time leader Kim Jong-il two months ago, with the US envoy saying he and his counterpart covered US food aid and other topics.

The discussions could signal whether North Korea's new government is ready to agree to steps demanded by Washington and Pyongyang's neighbours to restart disarmament talks.

Kim's death upended a deal between the US and North Korea, where Pyongyang would have suspended its uranium enrichment in return for food aid from Washington. The meetings in Beijing may partly reveal North Korea's goals under new leader, Kim Jong-un.

"The talks today were substantive and serious and we covered quite a number of issues," US envoy Glyn Davies said after meeting his counterpart Kim Kye Gwan at the North Korean embassy, and then at the US embassy.

Mr Davies would not provide other details, saying only that nutritional aid was discussed.

Mr Kim said he found it "positive" that the two sides talked with "serious attitudes", South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported. Mr Kim wouldn't elaborate when asked if progress was made.