Report: N Korea and US to meet in Geneva next week over nuclear talks


South Korean conservative activists burn portraits of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il, holding up slogans that urge him to abandon his nuclear program, at a rally in Seoul on September 4, 2009. The rally followed the North's announcement that it had reached the final stages of enriching uranium and was building more plutonium-based nuclear bombs.



Stalled six-nation talks to discuss North Korea’s nuclear disarmament will reportedly resume next week in Geneva, according to a South Korean news report.

Yonhap news agency quoted George Schwab, president of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy, on Monday confirming an earlier anonymous report that high-level talks between North Korea and the U.S. would continue.

The South Korean Unification Ministry did not confirm the accuracy of the report.

North Korea deserted the six-nation talks, which involve the United States, China, Russia, Japan and South Korea, in April 2009 and performed a second nuclear test the month after.

Nuclear envoys from North and South Korea met to see if the six-nation talks could resume for the second time in Beijing last month, but the outcome of the meeting is unclear, the AFP reports.

Washington and Seoul have openly stated Pyongyang must first stop its uranium enrichment program and allow U.N. nuclear inspectors to return before talks can resume, but the North wants unconditional resumption.

Most experts doubt North Korea would ever halt its development in nuclear weapons and that a major reason the government has wished to resume talks is to have sanctions lifted from its economic aid, Reuters reports.