U.S. shuns N. Korea call to resume 6-party nuclear talks

The U.S. State Department spurned a call Wednesday by North Korea to unconditionally resume six-nation talks on North Korean denuclearization.

"The onus is on North Korea here to take meaningful actions towards denuclearization," the department's spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters, commenting on the call made by North Korea's First Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan in Beijing.

Harf also urged North Korea to "refrain from provocations" before calling for such dialogue, apparently referring to suspected restoration work at the Yongbyon nuclear facility.

The Yongbyon facility north of Pyongyang is the centerpiece of North Korea's nuclear program with a graphite-moderated nuclear plant capable of producing weapons-grade plutonium.

Kim, a former chief North Korean delegate to the multilateral talks which also involve the United States, made the call at an international forum that China hosted in the hope that the event would lead to a resumption of the long-stalled six-nation talks.

The six-nation talks also involving Japan, South Korea and Russia have been stalled since 2008.

Japan, South Korea and the United States did not send senior government officials to the Beijing event, believing it is premature to discuss resumption of the multilateral talks.