It looks like South Korea, the US and other six-party nuclear talk members will wait to see what direction the new North Korean leadership takes on foreign relations.
On a three-day visit to Seoul this week, US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia Kurt Campbell said Washington continues to keep a close watch over the situation in Pyeongyang, after the death of Kim Jong-il.
Just before Kim's sudden death on December 17th, the US and the North were expected to hold a third round of talks about suspending Pyeongyang's nuclear activities, including its uranium enrichment program.
Campbell also briefed South Korean officials on discussions he had with his Chinese counterparts in Beijing earlier in the week.
[Interview : Kurt Campbell, US Asst. Secy. of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs] "First, to consult closely with us on developments in North Korea. We also urged China to make clear the importance of restraint by the new North Korean leadership."
Seoul and Washington, as of late, have been actively consulting with Beijing, asking the North's closest ally and remaining benefactor to exercise its influence over Pyeongyang.
The South, the US and Japan are demanding that the North work towards mending inter-Korean relations and follow its denuclearization commitments before reopening the six-party talks.
And Campbell extended an invitation by the US Secretary of State to the South's foreign minister to visit Washington, then hinted at a tri-lateral meeting of top diplomats that include Japan in the near future.
[Reporter : Choi You-sun
ed:scott] "As the US has already said the ball is in North Korea's court to make concessions before dialogue resumes, for now, the focus will likely be directed toward closely monitoring North Korea for developments, and coordinating appropriate responses with partnering countries.
Choi You-sun, Arirang News."