Page last updated at 21:19 GMT, Saturday, 24 October 2009 22:19 UK

N Korean and US envoys meet in NY

File photo of North Korean delegate Ri Gun (centre) during six-party talks in 2007
Ri Gun (centre) has been a senior figure in past nuclear talks

A senior North Korean diplomat has held face-to-face talks with an American counterpart during a rare visit to the United States, officials say.

The North Korean, Ri Gun, is the deputy negotiator in stalled talks on North Korea's nuclear programme.

He met the US special envoy for North Korean nuclear disarmament, Sung Kim, in New York, according to a statement from the US state department.

The US is pushing for talks to resume on North Korea's nuclear programme.

Six nations have been involved in the talks - the two Koreas, China, the US, Russia and Japan. Pyongyang pulled out of them in April.

The state department stressed that Mr Ri's visit was on the invitation of "US private organisations".

"During his visit, Ambassador Sung Kim took the opportunity to meet with [Mr Ri] in New York on October 24 to convey our position on denuclearisation and the six-party talks," a statement said.

Earlier this month, North Korea said it was willing to return to multi-party negotiations on its nuclear programme, but it has said it wants direct negotiations with the US first.

The US has said it is willing to engage directly with North Korea, but only as part of a return to the six-party forum.

Tensions have risen in recent months after North Korea launched a series of missiles and conducted an underground nuclear test - drawing UN sanctions in response.

The US wants North Korea to recommit to abandoning its nuclear programmes.

Print Sponsor

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2020 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific