US rejects North Korean invitation for nuke talks
North Korea has long sought one-on-one discussions with the US, a demand that Washington opposes.india Updated: Jun 02, 2006 11:25 IST
The US has rejected a North Korean invitation to a top US envoy for nuclear negotiations to visit Pyongyang.
"The US is not going to engage in bilateral negotiations with the government of North Korea," White House spokesperson Tony Snow said on Thursday.
Snow urged North Korea to rejoin six-nation talks aimed at resolving the standoff over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons programme.
North Korea has long sought one-on-one discussions with the US, a demand that Washington opposes.
"The US sticks by its position, which is North Korea has to return to the six-party talks," Snow said.
The talks involving China, Japan, Russia, the US and the two Koreas ended in September and Pyongyang has refused to return to the table although it has agreed in principle to abandon its nuclear ambitions.
The invitation was issued through the media to Christopher Hill, the chief US negotiator.
Hill was welcome if the US had made a political decision to implement the joint statement made in the September round of the talks, said the ministry.
North Korea wants the incentives offered before abandoning its nuclear programme, while Washington believes Pyongyang should begin dismantling the programme before it receives benefits.