AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
BEIJING: US troubleshooter Bill Richardson today gave North Korea a series of proposals in a meeting with the country’s chief nuclear negotiator, CNN reported, as tensions simmered on the Korean peninsula.
Richardson, a veteran negotiator with the communist state who arrived in Pyongyang on Thursday on a visit aimed at bringing calm to the region, did not provide details about the proposals, CNN said on its website. He made the gesture in a 90-minute meeting with Kim Kye-Gwan, the official who invited the New Mexico governor to visit Pyongyang, the network reported.
The meeting came as South Korea vowed to go ahead with a live-fire drill on a border island bombarded by North Korea last month, despite Pyongyang’s threat to strike back. The November 23 shelling of Yeonpyeong island sparked the worst crisis on the peninsula in years.
Richardson, who will stay in North Korea until Monday, earlier described the situation as a “tinderbox” but said he had made “a little headway” in his talks with North Korean officials. “I’m urging them extreme restraint,” Richardson told CNN, saying he was “very, very strong with the North Korean foreign ministry officials” during a dinner on Friday.