South Korea says it would not oppose the United States holding direct talks with North Korea to persuade Pyongyang to rejoin stalled nuclear disarmament talks.
South Korea's Foreign Ministry said Saturday it would support bilateral negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang, as long as they were held within the six-party framework.
A U.S. State Department official, Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs P.J. Crowley, said Friday the Obama administration is willing to have the U.S. special envoy to North Korea, Stephen Bosworth, hold direct talks with North Korean officials on the issue.
The new U.S. strategy emerged after Bosworth and another senior U.S. envoy, Sung Kim, completed consultations in Asia this week on the North Korean nuclear issue with their counterparts from South Korea, China, Japan and Russia - the members of the stalled six-party talks.
The U.S. says there has been no change policy, as bilateral discussions with Pyongyang would still be a part of the six-party process.
The U.S. says Bosworth's envisioned meeting with North Korea is not likely to occur before the U.N. General Assembly meeting later this month.
North Korea pulled out of the six-party talks in April, protesting international criticism of a long-range missile test it said was a satellite launch.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.