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US ready to talk to North Korea

world Updated: Sep 12, 2009 23:21 IST

The United States said it was prepared to accept North Korea’s offer for direct talks in an effort to persuade it to return to international nuclear disarmament negotiations.

State Department spokesman PJ Crowley told reporters that no decision has been made on when or where such a meeting would happen. He also insisted that there has been no shift from previous US statements that Washington would only meet with North Korea as part of the six-nation nuclear negotiating process.

North Korea had pulled out of the talks in April, protesting international criticism of a rocket launch.

“If a bilateral discussion will lead us back to a six-party process, then why would we not do that?” Crowley asked.

He said consultations among President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other world leaders about a possible US-North Korea meeting could happen at a UN meeting later this month.