The Bush administration is trying to build consensus among its negotiating partners before removing North Korea from a terrorism blacklist in hopes of salvaging nuclear disarmament talks, US officials said Friday.
The administration is close to taking the step but is still consulting with China, South Korea, Russia and particularly Japan on the move, which is meant to revive the disarmament process, the officials said. A decision had been expected as early as Friday, but the officials said it was unlikely to come before the weekend.
"We're continuing to work with our six-party partners, but I don't expect anything else on that today," White House press secretary Dana Perino said.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice discussed the matter with the foreign ministers of China, South Korea and Japan on Friday and will raise it with her Russian counterpart in the coming days, the State Department said. Those four countries, along with the United States and North Korea, make up the group working on getting Pyongyang to give up nuclear weapons.