North Korea warned today that it would strengthen its nuclear arsenal if new sanctions are imposed over its weapons programme.
However, Pak Kil Yon, the country’s deputy foreign minister, told the United Nations General Assembly that his country would “react to dialogue with a dialogue” with the US.
Washington had previously demanded the North first return to the six-nation negotiations before allowing bilateral talks.
The US now says it is considering direct talks if that would bring the North back to negotiations.
Although the Obama administration is pursuing diplomacy with the North, US officials are tightening sanctions and pushing Asian nations and others to implement punitive UN measures.