The US has announced it will resume bilateral talks with North Korea on the reclusive nation's nuclear programme and appointed a new envoy to the communist state.Mark Toner, the state department spokesman, said on Wednesday the talks between US officials and a North Korean delegation would take place on Monday and Tuesday in Geneva, Switzerland.
The meeting comes nearly three months after US and North Korean officials met in New York, ending a long break in direct engagement with Pyongyang.
In an interview with the Russian state news agency Itar-Tass published on Wednesday, Kim Jong-il, the North Korean leader, repeated his readiness to return to stalled nuclear talks "without any preconditions".
"Our principal position that the six-party talks should be swiftly resumed without any preconditions remains unchanged," Kim said in a written response to questions from Itar-Tass.
The two Koreas, Japan, Russia, China and the US are involved in the on-and-off negotiations.