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Ball in North Korean court now: US

world Updated: Aug 20, 2009 10:27 IST

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Against the backdrop of two diplomats from North Korea meeting New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, the Obama Administration insisted that its goal is to denuclearise the Korean Peninsula and the ball in this regard is in Pyongyang's court.

"Our continued goal is a denuclearised Korean Peninsula. We are certainly hopeful that whatever signals they may or may not send, that leads them back to the process of living up to the responsibilities that they entered into. That's always been our focus," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said.

"One of the messages that we have had and others have had, in dealing with the North Koreans, is their believe that a nuclear weapons programme will raise their international stature, rather than it's our strong belief that that programme, in defiance of the agreements that they've signed, diminishes them and further alienates them from the world," Gibbs asserted.

Meanwhile, State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said the US Government is not passing any message to North Korea through Richardson.

"Our goal is very simple and very clear. Our goal is the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula. Of course we want to see progress toward that, but the ball is very, very much in the North Korean court right now," he said.