Korea open to US dialogue under 'right conditions'


The North Korea flag flutters next to concertina wire at the North Korean embassy.

North Korea is willing to engage in talks with the US under the right conditions, senior North Korean diplomat Choe Son Hui told reporters on Saturday in comments published by South Korea's Yonhap News Agency.

Choe Son Hui, North Korea's foreign ministry director general for US affairs, made the announcement to journalists in Beijing, a South Korean news agency reported.

It was also held as South Koreans picked Moon Jae-in of the liberal Democratic Party as their new president.

Trump had previously commented that a "major, major conflict" with North Korea is possible.

Tensions with North Korea and the US have increased drastically in recent weeks as Congress voted overwhelmingly to impose new sanctions on Pyongyang for continued missile test launches despite several warnings.

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The remarks follow comments by U.S. President Donald Trump that he would be "honored" to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un under the right conditions.

"Track-two meetings are routinely held on a variety of topics around the world and occur independent of US government involvement", a State Department official said. It was described as the latest in a series of such meetings.

In a statement made earlier this month US President Donald Trump said that he would be "honoured" to meet his Korean counterpart, Kim Jong-Un.

When asked whether Pyongyang is preparing to hold dialogue with the South's new government, Choe replied: "We will see".

In defiance of United Nations and USA sanctions, North Korea has already conducted five nuclear tests and is also developing long-range missiles to deliver atomic weapons.

It says it needs such weapons to defend itself against United States aggression.