The top US diplomat for East Asia says five nations pressing North Korea to abandon its nuclear program must coordinate closely during an "uncertain time" in the communist country.
Kurt Campbell said Monday North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's recent illness and uncertainty over who will succeed him make it crucial for South Korea, the US, Japan, China and Russia to keep in close contact.
Campbell briefed reporters after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.
Campbell also said that if the United States has future one-on-one talks with the North, it will only be in an attempt to get Pyongyang to return to stalled six-nation disarmament talks.
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