The decision by the United States to launch the two days of discussions in Geneva, Switzerland, stems in part from recent meetings between North Korea and South Korea, a senior State Department official told reporters traveling with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Afghanistan last week.
“We are moving in a positive direction,” U.S. Ambassador Stephen Bosworth said from the Kempinski Hotel in Geneva after the meeting concluded. “We have narrowed some differences but we still have differences that we have to resolve.”
At a previous meeting between the two countries in July, Washington laid out a list of things it was looking for from Pyongyang to demonstrate its seriousness about abandoning its nuclear ambitions, the State Department official told reporters last week.
One of the things the United States was seeking is North Korean engagement with South Korea, the official said, adding that a recent “constructive meeting” between the two countries helped get the parties to this point.
The State Department did not give a specific reason for Bosworth’s decision to step down, but Toner said he believes it is a “personal” decision. In addition to his role at the State Department, Bosworth has also maintained his position on the faculty at the Fletcher School of Diplomacy at Tufts University outside Boston.
Hart, a foreign policy adviser to the U.S. Navy and an expert on China and Taiwan, will become the new chief U.S. negotiator to the six-party talks and will report to Davies in his new role.