North Korea and the United States have agreed to resume nuclear negotiations this weekend following a months-long stalemate over the withdrawal of sanc­tions in exchange for disarmament, a se­nior North Korean diplomat said Tuesday.

Choe Son Hui, North Korea’s first vice minister of foreign affairs, said the two nations will have preliminary contact on Friday before holding working-level talks on Saturday. In a statement released by North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency, Choe expressed optimism over the outcome of the meeting but did not say where it would take place.

“It is my expectation that the work­ing-level negotiations would accelerate the positive development of the DPRK-U.S. relations,” Choe said in the state­ment, using an abbreviation for North Korea’s formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The U.S. confirmed the talks.

“I can confirm that U.S. and DPRK offi­cials plan to meet within the next week.

 I do not have further details to share on the meeting,” said State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus, who is traveling with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Rome.

Nuclear negotiations have been at a standstill for months following a Feb­ruary summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Don­ald Trump in Hanoi, Vietnam. Those talks broke down after the U.S. rejected North Korean demands for broad sanc­tions relief in exchange for partially surrendering its nuclear capabilities.

North Korea followed the summit with belligerent rhetoric and a slew of short-range weapons tests that were widely seen as an attempt to gain le­verage ahead of a possible resumption of negotiations. Choe’s announcement came after North Korea praised Trump last month for suggesting that Wash­ington may pursue an unspecified “new method” in nuclear negotiations with the North. North Korea also has wel­comed Trump’s decision to fire hawkish former National Security Adviser John Bolton, who advocated a “Libya model”

 of unilateral denuclearization as a tem­plate for North Korea.

The 2004 disarmament of Libya is seen by North Korea as a deeply pro­vocative comparison because Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi was killed fol­lowing U.S.-supported military action in his country seven years after giving up a rudimentary nuclear program that was far less advanced than North Korea’s.

The office of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who lobbied hard to set up the first summit between Kim and Trump last year in Singapore, welcomed Choe’s announcement and expressed hope that the resumed talks would re­sult in “substantial progress” in denucle­arization and stabilization of peace.