Special U.S. envoy Stephen Bosworth is in Beijing after getting a pledge from North Korea to work with the United States on resolving differences over resuming nuclear disarmament talks.
A dispatch by the official North Korean news agency, KCNA, described three days of discussions this week in Pyongyang involving Bosworth and high-level North Korean nuclear officials as "frank and busnesslike." The report said the talks had produced "common understandings on the need to resume six-party talks."
The KCNA report echoed Bosworth's assessment that Pyongyang is serious about implementing a September 2005 agreement on a gradual nuclear disarmament in exchange for diplomatic engagement and material assistance.
Bosworth said he told North Korean officials the U.S. wants a "complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula."
Later on Saturday, Bosworth travels to Tokyo and then on to Moscow. Both Japan and Russia are players in the six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear program, talks that include the two Koreas, the United States and China.
Kim Young-hyeon, a North Korea scholar at Seoul's Donguk University, says the degree of harmony between the U.S. and North Korea is a positive sign.
He says that while Bosworth did not get North Korea to agree to a specific date to returning to the six-nation talks, Kim expects more one-on-one talks will take place soon.
Since the 2005 accord, North Korea has tested two nuclear weapons. Earlier this year it declared the negotiations "dead."
Bosworth's mission to Pyongyang represents the highest-level contact so far between the Obama Administration and North Korea.