The statement said the U.S. can decide when and where to meet, but that the talks should have no preconditions. It added that the U.S. must stop what it called its “lies about North Korea” and should also “end all forms of provocations including sanctions.”
It is a reversal of the war talk heard from North Korea only two months ago. However, similar talks it proposed with South Korea broke down last week at the planning stage when the two sides disagreed over the seniority of the other’s delegation.
The United States last held high-level talks with North Korea just over a year ago, when it agreed to provide nearly a quarter of a million tons of food aid in return for a freeze on nuclear work and missile development. That agreement fell apart when North Korea launched a long-range rocket, and as the U.S. later conducted military exercises nearby North Korea began threatening to start a nuclear war.