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US still open to diplomacy with NKorea: report

world Updated: May 27, 2009 11:45 IST

The United States will keep working toward a diplomatic resolution with North Korea despite its latest nuclear and missile tests, a Pentagon official said in an interview published in Japan on Wednesday.

"We haven't shut the door to diplomacy," Michael Schiffer, the US deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia, was quoted as telling the Nikkei business daily.

Pyongyang on Monday launched its second nuclear test since 2006 and later test-fired several short-range missiles, sparking international condemnation.

Schiffer said the US government wanted to engage the issue through such channels as the United Nations Security Council, according to the daily.

Schiffer indicated that the US military has no plans to boost its presence in the Asia-Pacific region after the nuclear test, saying that already "we are well-prepared for the full range of any contingency."

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates is due to meet his Japanese and South Korean counterparts in Singapore Saturday to discuss North Korea.