The US has said the six-party process overseeing North Korea's nuclear disablement is at "a very pivotal point" and that talks would be held in Beijing on verification as early as July 11 or 12.
Speaking aboard Air Force One as President George W Bush flew to Japan for the G8 summit, US National Security Council director for Asia Dennis Wilder said that leaders of the six parties -- North and South Korea, the United States, Russia, China and Japan -- needed to decide on "how we will do verification of the declaration" submitted by Pyongyang on its nuclear program.
Wilder said the six need to confirm that all fuel rods have been removed from the dismantled facilities and that North Korea is moving from disablement of its nuclear facilities to dismantlement.
They also need to settle the final resting place for the nuclear materials from the dismantled operations, he said.
"We are at a very pivotal point in the six party process and the president (Bush) and the prime minister of Japan will want to compare notes and make sure we are working the same page," Wilder said.