DPRK's No. 2 leader Kim Yong Nam said Monday that Pyongyang is willing to resolve concerns over its nuclear weapons program through dialogue, according to South Korean media reports.
The reports said Kim, chairman of the Presidium of DPRK's Supreme People's Assembly, made the remarks in a meeting with a South Korean delegation lead by Unification Minister Jeong Se Hyun on the sidelines of inter-Korean ministerial talks.
Kim also reportedly said that once the United States stops treating North Korea like an enemy, then that country's concerns over security will be eased.
Yonhap News Agency quoted Jeong as urging in some 40 minutes of talks with Kim that Pyongyang take acceptable measures to address concerns about its acknowledged nuclear weapons program.
The South Korean delegation flew to Pyongyang Saturday for talks with the North through Tuesday.
Tensions have run high on the Korean Peninsula after the U.S. announced last week that DPRK officials earlier this month admitted running a covert nuclear weapons program using highly enriched uranium.
Meanwhile, a senior South Korean Defense Ministry official said his country obtained military intelligence in 1999 that the North was pushing for a nuclear weapons program using enriched uranium, according to Yonhap News Agency.
Defense Minister Lee Jun reported to a parliamentary defense committee last Friday about his ministry's having obtained such information on the North's secret nuclear program in 1999, the official reportedly said.
But they also said that they believe DPRK does not possess nuclear weapons at this time and that it will take several more years to complete work on nuclear weapons.
The U.S. State Department said last week that North Korea acknowledged it has a secret program to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons when U.S. special envoy James Kelly, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, visited Pyongyang on Oct. 3-5.