As negotiators for the United States and North Korea resume talks over Pyongyang’s nuclear program this weekend, analysts say that the leaders of both countries face increased incentives to strike a deal, but that it is far from clear they will find common ground after months of deadlock and increased tensions, APA reports quoting Reuters.
The meeting in Stockholm will be the first formal working-level talks since U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met in June, vowing to restart negotiations that had stalled after their failed summit in February.
Since June, however, American officials have struggled to persuade North Korea to return to the table.
That appeared to change this week when North Korea abruptly announced that it had agreed to hold talks.
The stakes have grown for Trump and Kim, but publicly the two sides have shown no sign of where they may compromise.
On Wednesday North Korea test fired a ballistic missile designed for submarine launch, the latest in a series of missile tests that analysts say underscores the need for Washington to move quickly to negotiate at least some limits on Pyongyang’s growing arsenal.
Trump continued to downplay the test in remarks to reporters in Washington, noting that the two sides would soon be meeting.
North Korea is under tough sanctions that ban much of its trade, although the United Nations has warned that the country has circumvented many of the sanctions.
U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun is expected to lead the American delegation.
Biegun has often struck a more pragmatic note than former national security adviser John Bolton, who pushed Trump to maintain a harder line in Hanoi but was fired last month.