North Korea should be prepared to talk in a "substantive and serious way" about giving up its nuclear weapons program when it returns to six-party talks, a White House spokesman said Wednesday.
At the same time, &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/mailbox/22/98/386/14873_Bush.html ' target=_blank>President Bush indicated there was no imminent move by Washington planned to seek sanctions against North Korea at the United Nations.
Bush told Fox News Channel that this was an "option down the road."
A meeting between U.S. and North Korean diplomats Monday in New York left the U.S. side hopeful that North Korea would soon return to talks stalled for the past year, tells ABC News.
The United States says that &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/main/2002/11/28/40096.html ' target=_blank>North Korea expressed willingness to return to talks about its nuclear weapons programs at a meeting earlier this week in New York.
However, Kim Sung-chul at the South Korean Foreign Ministry on Wednesday downplayed hopes of talks, saying there is no sign that Pyongyang is departing from its previous position.
"That they are interested in the six party talks…. And they haven't indicated any specific dates for the resumption, or anything like that," said Kim Sung-chul.
And North Korea itself indicated that talks might not come soon. On Wednesday, an official North Korean news broadcast said that Pyongyang's return to the talks depended on the U.S. response to "our demand of creating conditions and an environment for the resumption of the talks."