The US State Department says North Korea should improve its relations with South Korea first, before talks can resume on the six-party nuclear table.
During a regular press briefing on Tuesday, department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters that the two key preconditions for resuming the stalled six-way dialogue, is a continued improvement in inter-Korean ties, and the North keeping the pledge it made back in 2005 to denuclearize in a deal with the US, South Korea, China, Russia and Japan.
Her remarks came after North Korea's New Year's message which denounced the South, and asserted that Pyeongyang would not deal with the Lee Myung-bak administration.
When asked whether another round of US-North Korea talks on food aid will take place anytime soon, Nuland said that Washington is still waiting to hear from the North Korean side.
Regarding the communist state's renewed demand for the withdrawl of US troops from South Korea, the US State Department reiterated that Washington remains committed to the US-ROK alliance.
A department offcial, during an interview with Seoul-based Yonhap New Agency said, the US-South Korea ties has never been stronger, and that Washington will continue to maintain a force posture that is operationally resilient and politically sustainable.
Han Da-eun, Arirang News.