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N Korea must return to six-party talks: US

The US Assistant Secy of State says the six-party talks are very important as they ensure a united stand by countries in the region over North Korea's N-ambitions.

india Updated: Oct 26, 2006 13:33 IST

The United States believes the stalled six-party talks have to be restarted if it is to talk to North Korea following the isolated regime's nuclear test earlier this month, US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill said on Thursday.

"The North Koreans haven't expressed an interest in having a dialogue with anyone really," Hill told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of Pacific Island Forum countries in Fiji.

"We've made very clear that if they come back to the (six-party) process, we're certainly prepared to talk to them directly".

Hill was asked about calls for the US to engage in direct dialogue with Kim Jong-Il's regime following the October 9 nuclear test.

But Hill said the six-party agreement was very important to the US because it ensured a united stand by countries in the region over North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

North Korea's nuclear test caused a global uproar with the UN Security Council issuing a resolution imposing economic sanctions aimed at curbing Pyongyang's weapons programme.

Threats by Pyongyang against South Korea over adopting the sanctions imposed after the test flew in the face of Seoul's clear undertaking to follow the resolution "to the letter", said Hill, who has responsibility for East Asian and Pacific affairs.

North Korea needed to understand UN Security Council resolutions were binding on everyone, he said.

First Published: Oct 26, 2006 13:33 IST