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North Korean Envoy Calls for Talks to Lower Tensions

North Korea's ambassador to the United Nations in a rare Wednesday exchange with journalists called for multinational discussions focused on improving tensions in East Asia, Agence France-Presse reported.

"We are now ready to have any kind of talks to ease the tensions in the Korean Peninsula and to solve any kind of issue, mostly security issues," Ambassador So Se Pyong said.

Pyongyang is interested in holding negotiations for a peace treaty that would take the place of the 1953 armistice agreement that ended Korean War armed hostilities with the United States and South Korea. Pyongyang also wants the multinational U.N. command that oversees the armistice to be dissolved. 

So reiterated the Kim Jong Un regime's position that it will not consider shuttering its nuclear weapons program "unless the U.S. withdraws its hostile forces."

Meanwhile, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday said Washington will strongly push China to deepen its participation in multinational efforts to end the North's nuclear work during two days this week of bilateral high-level strategic and economic talks, the Yonhap News Agency reported.

Heading the talks on the U.S. side are Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew. Their Chinese opposites are Vice Premier Wang Yang and State Councilor Yang Jiechi.

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