North Korea proposed high-level talks with the United States, in order to “ease tensions in the Korean Peninsula. The news was reported by the country’s state news agency on Sunday morning.
A statement from the North’s National Defense Commission added that the topics that will be up for discussion include changing a truce treaty to a peace treaty, easing military tensions, and North Korea’s nuclear program.
While the commission’s statement left some details, like where and when the talks would be held, to the United States, it insisted that the country shouldn’t respond with preconditions for talks with the North. The commission added:
“[The United States] should not lose the opportunity that is laid out and should actively agree with our resolute step and good intention.”
North Korea has been at odds with the United States for decades and has frequently threatened war on the South Korean ally. The majority of the conflict in recent years has stemmed from the North’s nuclear weapons program.
And while the nuclear program will be on the table for talks, there is no guarantee the United States will agree to talks unless North Korea first agrees to halt the program.
The offer of talks with the United States comes just days after North Korea called off the first high-level talks with the South in years. The meeting was supposed to start on Wednesday at a neutral location. However, the North called it off on Tuesday.
The North announced that it decided against the talks after it had a dispute with the South over who should be involved in the talks. Both sides alleged that the other wasn’t sending high enough level officials to the delegation. The North Korea-South Korea talks were supposed to be focused on returning to joint economic activities in the Kaesong Industrial Zone.
While North Korea offered talks with the United States and the potential denuclearization of the peninsula, the statement added that halting the country’s nuclear activities will only happen when the United States removes all nuclear threats in the region.
It is unclear if the United States will agree to high-level talks with North Korea. It is also not yet known if the North will back out of the proposed talks like it did with South Korea earlier this week.