Financial talks between the United States and North Korea ended inconclusively, but officials expressed guarded optimism Thursday that the meetings yielded enough goodwill to prevent the issue from disrupting negotiations on the North's nuclear program.
The discussions in Beijing on Tuesday and Wednesday centered on the financial restrictions the United States imposed over the North's alleged counterfeiting of US currency and money laundering. The North has denied any wrongdoing and the dispute has stalled six-party talks on the North's nuclear program.
The top US delegate to the financial talks, Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary Daniel Glaser, said late Wednesday the discussions had validated US suspicions of illegal financial activity by North Korea. But he also suggested the dispute could see an end.
"I think we are now in a position after a very lengthy investigation ... to start moving forward and trying to bring some resolution to this matter," Glaser said, without saying how the dispute would be settled.