The U.S. envoy to six-party talks aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear program says Pyongyang has agreed to resume negotiations before the end of the year.
Speaking to reporters in Beijing Tuesday, Christopher Hill confirmed that an agreement to restart multilateral talks had been reached.
He says the talks could start as early as November.
Hill says the decision came after an informal meeting in Beijing involving North Korea, China and the United States.
But in a news conference broadcast today on Japan's NHK television, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso said North Korea will not be allowed back to the talks as a nuclear power.
Mr. Aso said the other five nations in the talks have agreed this would be a major condition for resuming the talks.
Pyongyang has been under intense pressure to return to the disarmament negotiations since it conducted an underground nuclear test October ninth.
A U.S. National Security Council spokesman, Gordon Johndroe issued a statement today saying the White House welcomes the announcement and looks forward to resuming the talks.
The six-party talks include North and South Korea, China, the United States, Japan and Russia.