A Chinese delegation visited Kim Jong-il this week to press for reengagement on the North's nuclear program. The US, which has said it's open to talks, must deal with a deeply suspicious S. Korean leadership.
North Korea's leader Kim Jong-il was quoted Friday by China's Xinhua news agency as saying he was open to "bilateral and multilateral talks" to resolve "relevant issues." Mr. Kim reportedly made the remarks after meeting with a Chinese envoy.
The interest of the US in engaging in bilateral dialogue with North Korea in hopes of getting the North to return to six-party talks on its nuclear program has become a matter of intense debate between Washington and Seoul, which has charged that the North is using nuclear weapons as "a tool" for "communist unification" of all Korea.
Mr. Bosworth, recently in Seoul, is believed to have conveyed the deep doubts of South Korea's conservative president, Lee Myung-bak, who has said North Korea must completely "denuclearize" as a prelude to any new agreement.