U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reiterated on Thursday America's call for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s return to six-party talks without conditions.
Meeting with South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon, Rice attached great importance to breaking a deadlock in negotiations and persuaded the DPRK to scrap its nuclear programs.
"We are both urging North Korea to come back to the talks without conditions," Rice told reporters.
The DPRK,which refused to resume negotiations until the United States ends financial sanctions, has committed to a peaceful resolution of the nuclear standoff.
Speaking to reporters, Ban said Thursday, "we take note of what Chairman Kim Jong Il has said - that he reaffirmed a commitment to denuclearize the Korean peninsula and also a commitment to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue peacefully through dialogue, particularly through six-party talks."
Last September, the DPRK pledged at the six-party talks in Beijing to give up its atomic programs in return for aid and security assurances. But no progress was made on implementing the agreement after Pyongyang placed new conditions, which the United States said were unacceptable, on its disarmament.
The six-party talks, designed to solve the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula, involves the DPRK, the United States, the Republic of Korea, China, Japan and Russia.
The United States froze the US-based assets of eight DPRK companies in late October, accusing them of proliferating weapons of mass destruction.
Then, Pyongyang refused to resume the talks under the US financial sanctions.