The two Koreas, yet again, were unsuccessful to agree on the resumption of the six-party talks to denuclearize North Korea.
But the chief negotiators from both sides have called Wednesday's talks in Beijing "constructive" and "useful," in resolving the North's nuclear issue through the multilateral dialogue, involving the two Koreas, the US, China, Russia and Japan.
Following the meeting held in Bali two months ago, South Korea's top nuclear envoy Wi Sung-lac and his North Korean counterpart Ri Yong-ho held two rounds of discussions in Beijing, where Wi laid out a set of pre-dialogue conditions, endorsed by the South, the US and Japan.
The trilateral demands include the North halting its uranium enrichment program, reopening its nuclear facilities to international inspectors, and declaring a moratorium on its testing of weapons of mass destruction.
Although the North Korean envoy acknowledged the need to have bilateral and multilateral consultations that lead up to the six-nation forum, Ri also expressed that Pyeongyang is wishing to restart the six-way roundtable unconditionally and immediately.
A high-ranking official from Seoul, nevertheless, told reporters that having the two Koreas discussing the nuclear issue, reflects in itself part of the joint efforts to return to the six-party framework.
He added there were clarifications on each others' preconceptions and misundertandings, such as the North thinking that the South has been rejecting the six-party dialogue.
When the South raised Pyeongyang's military attacks on the South's warship and island last year that left a combined death toll of 50 South Koreans, the North reportedly did not respond.
There, also was an exchange of views on the joint gas pipeline construction with Russia.
Now that the two Koreas have met, speculation is rising whether Washington will agree to Pyeongyang's proposal for a second bilateral meeting to succeed the one held in New York in July.
The South Korean negotiator, meanwhile, will debrief China's six-party representative, Wu Dawei on the inter-Korean dialogue early Thursday.
Choi You-sun, Arirang News.