The United States said on Wednesday that the financial talks
with North Korea are "separate and distinct" from the six-party
"They are not related to the issues of denuclearization of the
Korean Peninsula," State Department deputy spokesman Tom Casey said
at a briefing.
Meanwhile, Casey said the United States hopes to make "real
progress" when the six-party talks resume in Beijing on Feb. 8.
Casey made the comments after the United States and North Korea
ended two days of financial talks in Beijing on Wednesday with both
sides agreeing to meet again, although no date was set for their
next round of talks.
Financial sanctions are one of the key factors that have stalled
the six-party talks aimed at denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.
This was the second set of bilateral talks between the two parties.
The first round was held in Beijing last December.
During the six-party talks in September 2005, North Korea signed
a statement agreeing to give up its nuclear weapons program in
exchange for economic aid and security guarantees from the United
States and other countries. However, North Korea later refused to
return to the talks as a result of US financial sanctions.
Thanks to various efforts, the six-party talks resumed in
December 2006 in Beijing, but tangible progress is yet to be
(Xinhua News Agency February 1, 2007)