Nuclear talks off to cool start

IT DID not take long for the magnitude of Robert Gallucci's task to become evident. Mr Gallucci, the chief American negotiator, arrived at the North Korean mission on the Lake Geneva waterfront yesterday to find that his counterpart, Kang Sok Ju, was not, as promised, waiting outside to greet him.

The talks did, eventually, get under way and last night Mr Gallucci emerged to say the eight-hour meeting had been 'productive and useful'. If the opening gambit was any guide, it could be months before Pyongyang is ready to do a deal on its suspect nuclear programme. However, the two men did agree yesterday that the nuclear issue was central to US-North Korean relations.

It is nearly a year since Mr Gallucci, an Assistant Secretary of State, last met the North Koreans, and Pyongyang has used the interval to push ahead with its nuclear development.

An informed source said the Americans now want to concentrate on reducing the future threat from North Korea, leaving aside the question of how much plutonium the country already has. The US is also ready to help Pyongyang obtain light-water reactor technology, from which it is more difficult and expensive to extract weapons-grade plutonium, if it agrees to dismantle its existing reactors and reprocessing facilities.

There are broader proposals for economic aid and diplomatic recognition if North Korea submits to full international nuclear safeguards, but Washington is keen to show progress before its ally, President Kim Young Sam of South Korea, travels to Pyongyang later this month for to meet his counterpart, Kim Il Sung.

After a second day of talks at the US mission today, Mr Gallucci and Mr Kang are expected to meet next week.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Home Care / Support Workers

£7 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care provider is looking for Home ...

Recruitment Genius: Web Team Leader

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...

Recruitment Genius: Client Manager

£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...

Recruitment Genius: Property Negotiator - OTE £20,000+

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...

Day In a Page

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate