White House officials say North Korea's threat to end its moratorium on missile testing will further distance Pyongyang from the international community.
North Korea Saturday suggested it is considering resuming those tests following its decision to withdraw from the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
North Korean officials met with a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Saturday, telling him their country does not intend to build atomic weapons.
State Department spokeswoman Nancy Beck said the informal talks failed to address any of the issues of concern over North Korea's nuclear program.
She said the possible resumption of missile tests shows that Pyongyang continues "to take steps in the wrong direction." Ms. Beck said North Korean officials did express a willingness to open formal talks, but she repeated Washington's position that there will be no negotiating over U.S. demands that the country scrap its weapons program.
North Korea's U.N. ambassador said Friday that the Bush administration's offer to talk, but not negotiate, is not sincere.