The United States has denied any rift between Washington and Seoul, after a South Korean official made a statement about North Korea that conflicts with the official U.S. position.
In Washington, a U.S. State Department spokesman emphasized Thursday that the ongoing six-party negotiations on North Korea's nuclear program are complex. He indicated that differences in opinion would naturally emerge from talks involving several parties.
In an interview earlier Thursday, South Korean Unification Minister Chung Dong-young said Pyongyang has a general right to pursue a civilian nuclear program. Washington is firmly opposed to Pyongyang having any nuclear facilities whatsoever.
The six-party talks - involving China, Japan, Russia, the United States and the two Koreas - recessed Sunday after 13 days. Negotiations are expected to resume the week of August 29.
Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.