Beijing: The United States again said on Friday it was willing to negotiate with North Korea but expressed concerns over its apparent progress with its enriched uranium nuclear weapons programme.
"I have been reiterating our commitment to dialogue and willingness to engage in dialogue with the DPRK (North Korea)," the US envoy on North Korea, Stephen Bosworth, said after talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.
"We are open to bilateral engagement as well, but only within the context of the six-party process and as an effort to rejuvenate and restart the six-party process," he told reporters.
Bosworth said he would be discussing the North Korean nuclear issue in Seoul and Tokyo over the weekend. He was due to leave Beijing later today.
The two Koreas, the United States, China, Japan and Russia have been engaged since 2003 in negotiations aimed at ending Pyongyang`s nuclear drive.
Earlier today, North Korea said it had reached the final stages of enriching uranium, a process that would give it a second way to make nuclear bombs, in a defiant response to recent tougher United Nations sanctions.
The hardline communist state also announced it was building more plutonium-based atomic bombs.