U.S. not interested in six-party talks now

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The United States is not interested in six-party talks right now, U.S. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said on Wednesday, calling for Pyongyang to be a "constructive player" in the region.

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"We are not interested in talks, and talks are no substitute for having North Korea fulfill its international obligations, meet its commitments and cease provocations," the spokesman told reporters at a press briefing.

"As North Korea demonstrates a willingness to do that, then we will act accordingly," he added, calling for Pyongyang to "show demonstrably that it is willing to engage, to be a constructive player in the region."

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will meet in Washington next Monday with South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan and Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara to discuss "the recent developments on the Korean Peninsula and their impact on regional security" and other regional and global issues, the U.S. State Department said in a statement on Wednesday.

Tensions persist on the Korean Peninsula after the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and South Korea exchanged artillery fire on Nov. 23, leaving four South Koreans dead and more than a dozen others injured.

"We're broadly consulting and we will continue to do so," Crowley said. "We expect to have further meetings beyond next Monday's."

China on Sunday proposed emergency consultations among the heads of delegation to the six-party talks in Beijing next month. The six-party talks involve the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), South Korea, Russia, China, Japan and the United States.

South Korea and the United States on Sunday launched a four-day joint naval drill in waters west of the divided Korean Peninsula. The U.S. aircraft carrier USS George Washington joined the drill.

The DPRK on Sunday blasted the joint exercises, saying they were bringing war to the Korean Peninsula.

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