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No formal invitation from North Korea: US

Last Updated: Friday, August 28, 2009 - 09:53

Washington: The United States has said it has not received a "formal invitation" from North Korea and there is no plan for its diplomat to visit Pyongyang now.
"We understand that North Korea would like to engage in discussions with the United States. There is nothing new there. We have not received a formal invitation," Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs PJ Crowley said.

Media reports in last few days have said that North Korea has invited the US for a bilateral dialogue. Crowley, however, said Special Representative for North Korea Policy Ambassador Stephen Bosworth would soon be travelling to the region.

"One of the purposes of potential travel to the region will be to consult closely with the key countries on where we are and where we go from here," Crowley said.

A decision on Bosworth`s travel to the region would be taken soon, he said, but ruled out categorically that the US diplomat would be visiting North Korea.

"This trip, when it happens and when that decision is made, will be to consult with the key countries in the region who have been part of the Six-Party process. I do not envision that it will include discussions with anyone from North Korea," Crowley said.

Noting that the US has the ability to communicate with North Korea, Crowley said: "North Korea has had discussions with various Americans in recent days and weeks. And would they welcome bilateral discussions with the United States? Of course, they would. They have made no secret of that. But we have made no decisions on that."

The travel that is being contemplated right now would have Ambassador Bosworth go to the region sometime soon, and he will consult with the key countries in the region and will not talk to North Korea, he said.

Obama administration has maintained that North Korea needs to come back to the six-party talks and any bilateral talks with the US can be only within this framework.

Denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula remains the goal of the United States, he added.

Bureau Report

First Published: Friday, August 28, 2009 - 09:53

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