North Korea pressed the United States to accept its demand for direct talks on the communist regime's nuclear program, saying Monday "we will go our own way" unless Washington agrees.
North Korea's Foreign Ministry did not elaborate on its comment, which appeared to be a threat to enlarge its nuclear arsenal.
The ministry statement came as North Korea's No. 2 nuclear negotiator, Ri Gun, wrapped up a rare trip to the US where he met with the chief American nuclear negotiator, Sung Kim, amid media speculation the two discussed setting up bilateral negotiations.
"As we have stated our position that we can hold multilateral talks, including the six-party talks, after talks with the US, it is the US turn to make a decision," the North's ministry said. "If the US is not ready to sit face-to-face with us, we will go our own way."