South Korea has urged the United States to engage in direct talks with North Korea, but Washington has refused, according to a news report Monday. A high-ranking government official said Seoul had pressed for the talks, but that Washington was reluctant because it felt that the North's invitation shouldn't have been made publicly, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported. The official wasn't identified. The North said last week it wanted to speak directly to the US over its missile concerns, repeating its long-held desire for bilateral contact with the Americans. But Washington has refused, saying it would only see the North Koreans at six-national nuclear arms talks in Beijing, which haven't met since November due to the North's boycott.