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USA ready to resume nuclear talks with North Korea

21 August 2019

But a second Trump-Kim meeting in February collapsed without an agreement, and North Korea has since resumed missile tests.

The United States is ready to restart nuclear negotiations with North Korea, a senior USA diplomat said Wednesday, a day after US and South Korean militaries ended their regular drills that North Korea calls an invasion rehearsal.

A Japanese daily says North Korea's military activities pose a "serious and imminent threat".

A leaked report by the Defence Intelligence Agency in 2017 concluded that North Korea had successfully produced a miniaturised nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles, according to The Washington Post.

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In last year's Defence White Paper, Japan said "miniaturising a nuclear weapon small enough to be mounted on a ballistic missile requires a considerably high degree of technological capacity".

He said the State Department's special representative for North Korean negotiations, Stephen Biegun, is in Asia this week.

But anticipation for renewed dialogue has been on the rise after the United States and its security ally South Korea wrapped up their two-week joint military drill on Tuesday.

North Korean strongman Kim Jong-un shakes hands U.S. President Donald Trump in an impromptu meeting in late June. Trump said Kim wanted to meet again to restart the talks after the U.S.

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Pyongyang considers the joint military exercise by the allies a rehearsal for invasion and has routinely expressed anger at the war games.

There are close to 30,000 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea and their annual drills with tens of thousands of South Korean soldiers have always infuriated the North.

"We are prepared to engage as soon as we hear from our counterparts in North Korea", said Mr Stephen Biegun, the United States special representative for North Korea, after his meeting with his South Korean counterpart Mr Lee Do-hoon in Seoul.

Huntsman said in a letter dated August 8 that he would step down on October 3, ending two years at the post dominated by issues such as USA sanctions on Russian Federation and a dispute that led to diplomats being expelled from both countries.

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USA ready to resume nuclear talks with North Korea