Report: North Korea's No. 2 leader says progress at arms talks depends on U.S. attitude

Friday, November 3rd 2006, 6:17 am
By: News On 6

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) _ North Korea's No. 2 leader said Friday that any progress at revived talks on the communist nation's nuclear program will depend on the United States.

The North agreed earlier this week to return to the arms talks after Washington said it would address financial restrictions that have limited the regime's access to outside banks.

``Results of the six-party (talks) depend on the U.S. attitude,'' Kim Yong Nam told a visiting South Korean delegation, Yonhap news agency reported from Beijing.

The comments incidate a breakthrough could be tough to achieve. North Korea has boycotted the talks _ which also include China, Japan, Russia and South Korea _ since November 2005.

Kim accused the U.S. of seeking to bolster the Republican Party's popularity ahead of next week's midterm elections.

``The U.S. has used the six-party talks for its elections, rather than promoting solutions to fundamental problems between North Korea and the U.S.,'' he said.

The North Korean official claimed Pyongyang had given the U.S. a way to save face and discuss the financial restrictions by the North proposing to return to the arms talks.

However, that account contradicts the U.S. contention that diplomacy by China, the North's last major ally, had been instrumental in luring the North back to the nuclear talks.