Upcoming talks between North Korea and South Korea may not yield progress on nuclear issue

Upcoming talks between North Korea and South Korea to discuss the Kaesong Industrial Complex may not help U.S. efforts to make progress on denuclearization with North Korea, the State Department said on Thursday.

Jen Psaki, the spokesperson for the State Department, made the statement during her daily press briefing. Psaki responded to questions about the recent agreement between North Korea and South Korea to hold talks on the Kaesong Industrial Complex and other issues. Psaki said the U.S. supports inter-Korean relationships and will closely coordinate with its allies and partners in the Asia-Pacific region.

When asked if the talks would contribute to U.S. efforts to bring North Korea back to the Six-Party Talks in denuclearization, Psaki said North Korea must first take multiple steps toward the honoring of international obligations.

"I would caution you against combining all of the issues here. North Korea and South Korea are going to get together," Psaki said. "They've indicated they will get together, and I would send you to both of them on updates on that, to discuss the industrial complex and other issues. But there remain a number of steps that the North Koreans need to take, including abiding by their international obligations, by the 2005 joint statement, in order to have further discussion. And we of course, as always, encourage them to do just that."

Psaki refused to speculate on whether the renewed talks between North Korea and South Korea were part of a new strategy to divide the Six-Party partners. She reiterated that the U.S. remains committed to the Six-Party Talks.