Top US diplomat Hillary Clinton says she sees encouraging signs of the six-party nuclear talks resuming.
[Interview : Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State] "Ultimately it is up to the North Koreans, but we are encouraged by signs of progress to return to the talks."
After sitting down with South Korea's foreign minister Yu Myung-hwan in Washington, the US Secretary of State added that US envoys to North Korea namely Stephen Bosworth and Sung Kim are "quite heartened" by the joint efforts by the relevant parties in the multilateral framework aimed at denuclearizing the North.
[Interview : Yu Myung-hwan, Foreign Minister] "This marks the 60th of the Korean War. I want to say that our alliance with you has improved into peace and prosperity not only in the Korean peninsula but in the region as well and we appreciate it very much."
And Assistant Secretary Philip Crowley further explained Clinton's words by saying that "the ball is in North Korea's court" but the talks may begin in the coming weeks or months.
US special envoy to North Korea Stephen Bosworth has been travelling to Asia testing out the possibility of resuming the six-party talks and told reporters that it is up to Pyeongyang to resume the dialogue.
And as for the possibility of another Washington-Pyeongyang dialogue the envoy highlighted the need for such meeting to help restart the bigger but stalled talks including South Korea, Japan, China and Russia.
[Interview : Stephen Bosworth, US Special Envoy to North Korea] "We have no philosophical objection to meeting bilaterally with the DPRK, but our objective remains to resume the multilateral dialogue as soon as possible."
North Korea abandoned the nuclear negotiations a year ago and claims that it will give up its nuclear ambitions if the US stops what the regime calls "hostile policy", agrees to peace treaty talks and lifts sanctions.
Meanwhile, North Korea's top nuclear negotiators Kim Kye-gwan and Ri Gun. are reportedly flying out to the US this weekend.
Although they are technically attending seminars in San Francisco and New York, sources familiar with the matter say discussions on the dormant six-way talks are also part of their agenda.
Kang Che-ry, Arirang News.