US declines to rule out resumption of N Korea nuke talks

The United States has declined to rule out a resumption of six-party nuclear disarmament talks with North Korea following meetings at the UN General Assembly late next month.

Washington: The United States has declined to rule out a resumption of six-party nuclear disarmament talks with North Korea following meetings at the UN General Assembly late next month.

"We do have the UN General Assembly coming up. It will be an opportunity for the United States to engage directly with our partners in the six-party process," state department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters.

"And then... we`ll see whether there might be an opportunity for... further dialogue with North Korea," he said when asked to comment on Chinese efforts to revive the stalled talks.

"But, again, as we`ve said many, many times, there are still actions that we want to see from North Korea that convince us that such a meeting would be fruitful," Crowley said, referring to calls for Pyongyang to stop provocations.

North Korea walked out on the talks, also involving South Korea, the United States, China, Russia and Japan, in April 2009 in protest at UN condemnation of an apparent missile test disguised as a space rocket launch.
It carried out its second nuclear test the following month, sparking tougher UN sanctions.

A key obstacle to restarting disarmament talks is the sinking in March of a South Korean corvette, with the deaths of 46 sailors, an attack both South Korea and the United States blamed on North Korea.
"As we`ve said many, many times, we believe that North Korea was responsible for the sinking of the Cheonan. It has not, as far as I know, taken responsibility for that provocative act," Crowley said.

Bureau Report

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