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N.K. propaganda outlet reaffirms denuclearization commitment ahead of possible high-level talks with U.S.

North Korea 10:12 January 16, 2019

SEOUL, Jan. 16 (Yonhap) -- A North Korean propaganda outlet reaffirmed Pyongyang's commitment to denuclearization Wednesday ahead of the North's possible high-level talks with the United States aimed at breaking a protracted stalemate in their talks on ridding Pyongyang of its nuclear weapons program.

"Our republic's pro-peace stance and willingness for complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula should not be seen with colored glasses," Meari, a propaganda website, said in an article. "(North Korea) has done all it can do to realize denuclearization."

"Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is intended, among other things, to prevent a fearful nuclear disaster before it can happen on our land by removing a root cause of nuclear war that threatens the fate of our people," it added.

The emphasis on North Korea's commitment to denuclearization came as the North and the U.S. are reportedly pushing to hold high-level talks to set up a second summit between their leaders.

Foreign media reports earlier said that Kim Yong-chol, a senior North Korean official, will likely visit the U.S. this week for talks with his U.S. counterpart Mike Pompeo and a possible meeting with President Donald Trump.

Little progress has been made since Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met in Singapore last June at which they agreed to work toward complete denuclearization in exchange for security guarantees from the U.S.

Pyongyang wants sanctions relief for steps it has taken since June, such as dismantling a major nuclear and missile test site, but Washington demands more concrete measures.

Skeptics have suspected that the North is continuing its nuclear development efforts despite the June summit agreement, calling into question the North's seriousness in giving up its nuclear weapons program.

In his New Year's Day speech, the North's leader expressed a willingness to meet again with Trump at anytime. Trump said that the U.S. and North Korea are in talks over where to hold their second summit and a decision on the venue will be announced in the "not-too-distant future."

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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