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Richardson: N. Korea seeks talks through U.S. prisoners

North Korea allowed three detained Americans to speak briefly with Western reporters Monday, and the prisoners all asked for the United States to have a high-ranking official negotiate directly for their release.

By allowing the interviews, North Korea is signaling it may be prepared to make a deal for the prisoners’ release but first wants direct talks with the United States, former U.N. ambassador Bill Richardson says.

“The North Koreans are sending signals to the U.S. that they are ready to deal,” Richardson, who has negotiated with North Korean leaders for release of detained Americans, told USA TODAY. “Specifically, they are saying that the three Americans are bargaining chips.”

Read the full article on USA Today »