North Korean and US officials on Tuesday confirmed that working-level talks would resume within the week.
The most recent negotiations, held in Hanoi in February, broke down when North Korean leader Kim Jong-un demanded the US lift all sanctions.
The Trump Administration has remained firm on its promise to maintain sanctions until North Korea makes verifiable progress towards denuclearization, while North Korea wants the sanctions removed before it starts to relinquish weapons.
North Korea conducted several short-range weapons tests after the February meeting, but relations started to improve during the summer when reports confirmed that Trump and Kim had exchanged personal letters. The two leaders met in June at the inter-Korean border, where they decided that official negotiations should continue.
News of the upcoming talks comes less than one month after North Korea celebrated President Trump’s decision to fire his national security adviser, John Bolton, whose hardline stance had worried the North Koreans.
Last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he was ready to resume talks with North Korea.
“We hope the phone rings and that we get that call, and we get that chance to find a place and a time that work for the North Koreans and that we can deliver on the commitments that Chairman Kim and President Trump made,” said Pompeo, referring to the denuclearization treaty the leaders signed last June.
On Monday, North Korean UN Ambassador Kim Song said it was up the United States to improve relations between the two countries: “It depends on the US whether the DPRK-US negotiations will become a window of opportunity or an occasion that will hasten the crisis.”
Author’s Note: If this story continues to make headlines it will make everyone forget about the Ukraine scandal (if they haven’t already). Trump’s strategy here is to make progress with North Korea just before the 2020 election.