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Obama administration ‘quietly working to open secret talks’ with N. Korea: report

March 13, 2015
President Barack Obama signs a presidential memorandum aiming to clamp down on the private companies that service federal student debt, Tuesday, March 10, 2015, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

President Barack Obama signs a presidential memorandum aiming to clamp down on the private companies that service federal student debt, Tuesday, March 10, 2015, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON, March 12 (Yonhap) — A U.S. newspaper blog has claimed that the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama is “quietly working to open secret talks” with North Korea to eventually normalize relations with the communist regime.

Inside the Ring, a Washington Times blog, carried the report citing an unidentified U.S. government source. It added that the move is similar to the secret diplomacy that led to December’s announcement that the United States will normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba.

No details were given about U.S. efforts to open secret talks with Pyongyang.

The report also cited White House National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan as denying there are secret talks between the United States and the North.

“We have channels of communication with the DPRK and remain open to dialogue, with the aim of returning to credible and authentic negotiations on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. We are not currently, however, engaged in such dialogue,” she said.

The United States has said it is wiling to hold direct or multilateral talks with Pyongyang if it is about denuclearization efforts. Washington has also insisted that the North should take concrete steps demonstrating its commitments to give up its nuclear program if it wants to reopen six-party denuclearization negotiations.

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