The top U.S. negotiator on North Korea has begun talks in Geneva with his North Korean counterpart on efforts to scrap Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program.

Going into the meeting Thursday, Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill said he would try to have a thorough discussion with his North Korean counterpart, Kim Kye Kwan about a declaration of the North's nuclear weapons and stockpiles.

Under a six-nation deal, Pyongyang was supposed to provide a list of all of its nuclear programs by the end of last year, but Washington says the list was not complete. The United States is demanding that North Korea account for uranium enrichment that it has never publicly acknowledged.

Hill has said he will offer ideas at the meeting that will try to jump-start negotiations, but has not given any details. He said the United States is willing to be flexible on the format the North uses to provide a promised nuclear declaration.

Hill has stressed, however, that the format must not interfere with North Korea preparing a complete and correct declaration of its nuclear activities.

On Wednesday, South Korea's new foreign minister, Yu Myung-hwan, warned that talks on North Korea's nuclear weapons could lose momentum if disputes over the nuclear declaration are not resolved.

The six-party talks began five years ago in an effort to get Pyongyang to end its nuclear weapons program in exchange for diplomatic benefits and energy aid.


Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.