North Koreans to talk with ex-US envoys in Germany

The Associated Press
Thursday, March 24, 2011; 9:06 AM

BERLIN -- An American think tank says senior North Korean officials will meet with former U.S. officials in Germany over the weekend.

Aspen Institute executive director Charles King Mallory said Thursday the two sides would talk about denuclearization and bilateral relations.He wouldn't give further details on the meeting, citing the sensitivity of the issue.

The State Department says there's no U.S. government involvement.

China, the U.S., Japan, South Korea and Russia had been negotiating since 2003 to persuade North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons program in exchange for aid and other concessions. Pyongyang pulled out of those talks about two years ago.

South Korea and the U.S. say North Korea must demonstrate a commitment to denuclearization before official talks can resume.

© 2011 The Associated Press