(Reuters) - Chinese and U.S. negotiators held talks in Tokyo on Tuesday to seek a way to bring North Korea back to six-party talks on its nuclear weapons program, but Washington's envoy insisted the ball was in Pyongyang's court.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill said it was time for North Korea to make up its mind to return to the negotiations, which have been stalled since the last round in Beijing in November.
"We discussed specific ideas about how we could make the process move ahead," Hill told reporters after meeting Wu Dawei, top Chinese envoy and host of the six-party negotiations, declining to elaborate further.
But Hill said he saw little need and had no plans to meet his North Korean counterpart, Kim Kye-gwan, who is also attending a conference in Tokyo.
"They've got to get themselves to Beijing, bring some position on how they are going to denuclearize," Hill told reporters earlier on Tuesday.
"We have done our homework. They need to do their homework, and then we need to get on with it."
Kim said on Monday that Washington must lift what he called financial sanctions against North Korea before it would return to the six-party talks, aimed at preventing a nuclear crisis on the Korean peninsula.
Hill has said Pyongyang must not set preconditions.
All the chief delegates to the six-party talks are in Tokyo, most of them to attend a private forum on security issues.