Accessibility links

China: Resumption of North Korea Talks Premature

China says it may be too early for a new round of six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear ambitions. The subject came up during talks Tuesday at the White House between President Bush and Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao.

A senior Bush administration official says Prime Minister Wen told the president the timing is not right for a resumption of six-party talks.

The official says the prime minister indicated there is a growing consensus on how best to handle concerns over North Korea's nuclear program. But the official says Mr. Wen made clear there has not been enough progress to reconvene talks with Pyongyang.

China hosted the first round of talks. And during their discussions at the White House, President Bush and Prime Minister Wen reaffirmed their determination to keep working the issue and get the multi-party discussions going again.

North Korea was one of many issues on the agenda for the prime minister's visit and President Bush used the occasion to once again stress the importance of a nuclear free Korean peninsula. The president said it is not enough for Pyongyang to offer to freeze its nuclear program, that it must be ended in a verifiable and irreversible way.