6 Oct 2009

North Korea ready to talk - on condition

5:00 pm on 6 October 2009

North Korea says it is ready to return to international talks on ending its nuclear weapons programme, but first it's demanding negotiations with the United States.

Pyongyang's latest offer largely repeats its long-held contention that Washington holds the key to its willingness to give up building an atomic arsenal.

Washington says it's open to direct talks with the North to coax it back to six-party nuclear talks encompassing the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States.

One new element is the North's apparent willingness to return to the talks and to end its development of nuclear weapons in return for massive aid and access to the international community.