WASHINGTON: The U.S. State Department confirmed on Tuesday that U.S. special representative Stephen Bosworth will visit the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) "at an appropriate time."
"We have told North Korea that we are prepared for Ambassador Bosworth and a small interagency team to visit Pyongyang at an appropriate time not yet determined," State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters.
The spokesman, however, stressed that Bosworth's discussions with DPRK officials "will take place in the context of the six-party talks," adding that the bilateral talks with Pyongyang are aimed at resuming the six-party talks as soon as possible.
"From our standpoint, the purpose will be to facilitate an early resumption of the six-party talks and to secure North Korea's reaffirmation of the September 2005 joint statement of the six-party talks, including verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner," said Crowley.
The declaration was made two days ahead of President Barack Obama's Asia trip, in which he will visit Japan, China, the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Singapore. Pyongyang's nuclear claim is expected to top agenda of Obama's summits with Asian leaders.
The DPRK, who has boycotted the six-party talks since April in protest to a UN condemnation on its test-firing of a so-called satellite, has invited Bosworth to visit Pyongyang in an attempt to improve its relations with Washington by direct talks.
The Obama administration has claimed that the bilateral talks with Pyongyang should be in the DPRK's denuclearization process guided by the six-party mechanism, which involved also China, Japan, the ROK and Russia.