North Korea's envoy to the United Nations has signaled that his country is open to a dialogue with the United States, but will never again participate in six-nation disarmament talks.
Ambassador Sin Son Ho told reporters in New York Friday that Pyongyang is ready for what he called "negotiations on issues of common concern." But he said his nation has made it clear that the six-nation disarmament talks are "gone forever."
He said North Korea was "cheated" by other parties in the talks, who he said did not act as they had promised.
Washington has refused all previous calls for bilateral talks with Pyongyang, supporting instead the six-party framework for disarmament talks. In addition to the United States, the talks involve North Korea's neighbors Japan and South Korea, as well as China and Russia.
The last round of six-party talks in Beijing in December ended in an impasse over how the North's nuclear disarmament would be verified. Since then, Pyongyang has angered the world community by testing a nuclear weapon and launching a series of ballistic missiles.
The United Nations imposed tougher new sanctions on Pyongyang in June to help prevent it from obtaining the material needed for its arms programs. North Korea reacted with anger and renewed threats, dismissing all calls to return to the negotiating table.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said earlier this week the United States and the other countries involved in the negotiations are still willing to offer diplomatic and economic incentives to the North if it drops its arms programs.
North Korean government spokesman Ri Hung Sik dismissed the offers as "nonsense" and declared the six-party talks are "dead."
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.