North Korea expressed its readiness Thursday to discuss initial steps of its nuclear disarmament, raising hopes for the first tangible progress at international talks on Pyongyang's atomic weapons program since they began more than three years ago.
"We are prepared to discuss first-stage measures," the North's nuclear envoy Kim Kye Gwan said on arriving in Beijing for the six-nation negotiations set to start later Thursday.
Media reports have suggested the North may agree to freeze its main nuclear reactor and allow international inspectors in exchange for energy aid as a starting step to disarm.
But Kim said any moves by North Korea would be determined by the United States' attitude.
"We are going to make a judgment based on whether the United States will give up its hostile policy and come out toward peaceful coexistence," he said, adding that Washington was "well-aware" of what it had to do.
If they actually do disarm this time, will Bush get any credit? Of course not. He never does.