Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly told a news conference in Seoul (Saturday) that the United States will continue to work with South Korea, Japan, and the West to press for an "immediate and visible" end to North Korea's nuclear program
He said that although the United States has not set a deadline, North Korea should end its covert actions if it wants to begin dialogue.
Mr. Kelly said the Bush administration is consulting with Congress and allies about what steps to take next. He stressed that the United States is committed to a peaceful Korean peninsula that is free of nuclear weapons.
On Wednesday, the United States said that North Korea has been defying a 1994 agreement to halt its nuclear weapons program in return for fuel oil and two modern nuclear reactors. Mr. Kelly said North Korea admitted earlier this month it is building a nuclear program. He said North Korean officials told him they consider the 1994 agreement nullified.
Mr. Kelly spoke in Seoul after meeting with South Korean President Kim Dae-Jung and other top officials. Mr.Kelly held similar discussions in Beijing on Friday. He travels to Tokyo on Sunday.
The discussions in Seoul took place just hours after a high level South Korean delegation arrived in Pyongyang for talks originally scheduled to focus on economic ties, but that have now shifted to the North's nuclear weapons program.