North Korea's chief delegate to the six-party nuclear talks Ri Yong-ho is confirmed to have met with former U.S. government officials in Mongolia.
Seoul-based Yonhap News reports Ri met with former U.S. State Department official Joel Wit as well as ex-C-I-A analyst, Robert Carlin.
Washington says the two, if they indeed made contact, were acting in their own capacity and that the U.S. government has a separate channel of communications with Pyongyang.
The U.S. also made clear its message to North Korea remains the same -- that Pyongyang needs to show a sincere attitude about giving up its nuclear ambitions.
When asked about the matter, China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Qin Gang told reporters that he wasn't aware of the meeting.