The United States says it has seen no signs yet that North Korea is prepared to meet conditions for resuming multi-national talks on nuclear disarmament.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland made the comments Tuesday ahead of consultations between U.S. officials and South Korea's nuclear envoy.
Wi Sung-lac is due to arrive in Washington on Wednesday. He will meet with Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and the U.S. envoy on North Korea, Stephen Bosworth.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Il reportedly has suggested a moratorium on its nuclear testing and production if talks resume. The U.S. wants such steps before negotiations can begin.
The U.S. and South Korea have held exploratory talks and offered limited flood aid to the North in recent weeks.