The United States has once again firmly laid out its demand that North Korea take the initial steps towards denuclearization in order to resume the six-party talks.
At a press briefing in Washington Tuesday, Daniel Russel, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia, said talks with North Korea should focus on denuclearizing the Korean peninsula, and should not be talks for talk's sake.
He also said Washington stands ready to negotiate with Pyongyang, but only on the basis of a statement signed in 2005.
Under the landmark deal, Pyongyang agreed to scrap its nuclear program in return for security, economic and energy benefits.
However, the North failed to abide by the agreement, carrying out three nuclear bomb tests between 2006 and 2013.
Russel's comments echo those made by Glyn Davies, the U.S. envoy on North Korea, who said last week that the six-party denuclearization talks will not resume unless Pyongyang changes its policy direction.
The U.S. and North Korea remain at odds as Pyongyang has not shown any change in its position in recent years.
Speaking in Moscow on Tuesday, the North Korean ambassador to Russia said the chance of resuming the talks was fading away because of Washington's hostile policy towards the North.
The six-party talks, involving the two Koreas, the U.S., China, Japan and Russia, have not been held since late 2008.
Connie Kim, Arirang News.