Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

N. Korea hints at openness to talks

SEOUL, South Korea — Government officials and security analysts in the region say North Korea is scaling back its campaign of threats and showing signs it wants to ease tensions with South Korea and the United States.

That assessment, gaining credence among policymakers in recent days, doesn't mean North Korea will soon agree to talks or that the long-term threat posed by its weapons program has been reduced. But officials say they are encouraged by a shift during the past week in Pyongyang's rhetoric, which, though still venomous, now includes hints about reconciliation.

"The tensions should gradually decrease from here, but we cannot lose ourselves" to complacency, the Washington Post reported that a South Korean Defense Ministry official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to convey government thinking. "We do still have to be prepared for any provocations."

Dialogue will be difficult, because Washington and Pyongyang are fundamentally at odds over what must happen first. On Thursday, the North issued a statement laying out its conditions for talks, including the lifting of U.N. sanctions and the removal of all U.S. nuclear assets from the region. The United States, which has already rejected such steps, instead wants Pyongyang to live up to pre-existing disarmament agreements.

Secretary of State John Kerry said North Korea's preconditions are "not acceptable," but he appeared to welcome the glimmer of interest in talks from Pyongyang.

"I'm prepared to look at that as, you know, at least a beginning gambit," he told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Analysts say it's noteworthy that Pyongyang is even raising the possibility of talks, given that in recent weeks it has pledged nuclear annihilation of the United States, South Korea, Japan and Guam.

Secret report said mislabeled: The top U.S. intelligence official disclosed Thursday that a congressman inadvertently revealed classified information when he read aloud a passage from a Defense Intelligence Agency report that said North Korea had the know-how to put a nuclear warhead on a missile.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the paragraph Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., read at a House hearing last week was "miscategorized as unclassified."

N. Korea hints at openness to talks 04/18/13 [Last modified: Thursday, April 18, 2013 10:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Washington Post.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Review / photos: Sunset Music Festival brings Major Lazer, safety upgrades to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa

    Blogs

    Somewhere beyond the barricades and mountainous LED stages of the Sunset Music Festival, there had to be worry. There had to thousands of parents in parking lots and empty kitchens, anxiously distracting their minds, every now and then checking their phones.

    Major Lazer headlined the Sunset Music Festival on May 27, 2017 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
  2. 24-year-old man charged with murder in shooting at Andrea Cove Motel

    LARGO — Pinellas sheriff's officers arrested a 24-year-old transient man Saturday in connection with a homicide at the Andrea Cove Motel in unincorporated Largo.

  3. Photo gallery: Calvary Christian rolls to state title

    Blogs

    View a gallery of images from Calvary Christian's defeat of Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers for the Class 4A title.

    Calvary Christian players circle up on the field before the FHSAA class 4A baseball championship against Pensacola Catholic on Friday May 27, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Calvary scored 6 runs in the first inning, and had 7 hits.
  4. Two girls found safe after being reported missing in New Port Richey

    UPDATE: Both girls were found safe Saturday night, police said.

  5. IT failure blamed for British Airways cancellations (w/video)

    Airlines

    LONDON — British Airways canceled all flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports on Saturday as a global IT failure upended the travel plans of tens of thousands of people on a busy U.K. holiday weekend.

    Passengers wait at a British Airways check-in desk after the airport suffered an IT systems failure Saturday at London''s Gatwick Airport. [Associated Press]