North Korea Willing to Hold Talks With U.S.

North Korea is willing to hold talks with Washington, Reuters reported a senior diplomat from the country as saying Friday.

Kim Yong-il, a vice minister in the North's Foreign Ministry, said in a rare comment to reporters "We always keep the door open to negotiations."

It was the first such remark from North Korea since former President Bill Clinton’s visit to the country last week to negotiate the release of two American journalists.

During the visit, Clinton met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il for more than an hour and then had a two-hour dinner with him.

The Obama administration said they didn't know whether North Korea's nuclear program, which the United States wants to rein in, was discussed during their meeting.

North Korean representatives have said the so-called six-party talks on its nuclear program are "over" and "dead," and rejected as "nonsense" the United States' plan to offer the country new incentives.

Last month, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton suggested she was holding out hope North Korea would rejoin nuclear disarmament talks, even as the country's foreign ministry described her as a "primary schoolgirl" and called her unintelligent.