The Bush administration has welcomed news that North Korea may be ready to resume multi-party talks on its nuclear ambitions.

Spokesman Scott McClellan says the Bush administration is encouraged by reports North Korea has agreed in principle to resume the talks.

Speaking to reporters accompanying the president on a trip to the state of Ohio, Mr. McClellan stressed the White House continues to believe a multi-lateral approach is the best way to handle the issue.

The announcement of an agreement in principle on new talks was first reported by official North Korean and Chinese media, and followed talks in Pyongyang between North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and a top Chinese official.

No timetable was given for a resumption of the multi-lateral process. The last set of six-party talks took place in Beijing in August and produced no breakthroughs.

Participants in the talks include China, North Korea, Japan, South Korea, Russia, and the United States.