WASHINGTON - - The US envoy for nuclear talks with the DPRK had "substantive" discussions with his North Korean counterpart last week, the State Department said on Monday, but officials gave no hint of progress in breaking a deadlock over verifying Pyongyang's nuclear programs.
US envoy Sung Kim met officials from the DPRK in New York on Friday to discuss how to verify information that Pyongyang provided to others in the six-nation talks aimed at dismantling North Korea's nuclear programs, State Department spokesman Robert Wood said.
"Sung Kim last week had very detailed and substantive discussions with his North Korean counterpart, on the subject of verification," Wood said.
"We've had, periodically, discussions with the North Koreans on this subject, and undoubtedly there will be other discussions," he added.
Wood did not identify Kim's interlocutor or give other details, but said, "I wouldn't make too much out of this meeting." Asked if any progress had been made, he repeated his statement that the talks were "substantive and detailed."
It was Kim's second get-together in less than a month with DPRK's officials. Their previous meeting was in Beijing, which hosts the multilateral talks on DPRK's nuclear program.
The DPRK produced a long-delayed inventory of its nuclear programs in June, and President George W. Bush began a process to remove Pyongyang from the US list of state sponsors of terrorism.
But the Bush administration has said it will not actually take the DPRK off the list until an adequate protocol to verify Pyongyang's nuclear information has been agreed.
The six-party talks on ending North Korea's nuclear programs group the United States, China, Japan, Russia and North and South Korea.