13 May, 2017
The North Korea flag flutters next to concertina wire at the North Korean embassy.
Choi Sun-hee, left, the top North Korean diplomat who handles relations with the USA walks prior to her departure for Pyongyang, North Korea, at Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing Saturday, May 13, 2017.
Choe Son-Hui, head of the foreign ministry's North America bureau, told reporters at Beijing's global airport that her country "will hold dialogue under right conditions" with President Donald Trump's administration.
Choe Son Hui, director-general of the North America bureau chief of North Korea's Foreign Ministry, spoke to reporters Saturday at the Beijing Capital International Airport in China.
The remarks by Choe, a veteran member of North Korea's team of nuclear negotiators, came amid tensions between Pyongyang and Washington, a close ally of Seoul.
U.S. President Donald Trump often talks tough about North Korea, emphasizing the need to put more pressure on the Kim Jong-un regime. However, he would prefer a diplomatic outcome to the dispute over its nuclear and missile programmes.
Trump, earlier this month, had also said that he would be "honoured" to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Japanese media reported that Choe was in Norway for the so-called Track Two meeting with former USA officials.
A source with knowledge of the latest meeting said at least one former US government official took part but the USA administration was not involved. She was traveling from Norway, where she led a delegation that held an informal meeting with former USA officials and scholars.
In response to four North Korean ballistic missile launches into the Sea of Japan, the United States deployed a THAAD missile defence system in South Korea earlier this year, which become operational this month.
South Korea's new president has also indicated that he is open to talks with North Korea. It claims that it needs such weapons to defend itself against U.S. aggression.