( AFP ) - Christopher Hill, the chief US negotiator on North Korea, on Monday started a tour to get six-nation disarmament talks back on track after a key deadline slipped.
North Korea had until December 31 to disable its key nuclear facilities and give a full declaration of its other nuclear programmes as part of a deal with China, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the US.
Hill, the US assistant secretary of state for Asia, arrived in Tokyo for talks with his Japanese counterpart in the six-nation talks, Kenichiro Sasae.
"What I'll do on this trip is talk to my counterparts here in Tokyo -- also in Seoul and in Beijing and Moscow -- and compare notes and see where we think we ought to be heading in the next few weeks," Hill told reporters at Narita airport.
North Korea, which tested an atom bomb in 2006, reached the breakthrough deal in February last year under which it would receive badly needed aid and security guarantees in return for disarmament.
It said Friday it had been forced to slow compliance with the six-nation deal and build its "war deterrence," accusing the United States of aggressive diplomacy.
A key hurdle is believed to be on North Korea's declaration of its nuclear programmes.
Washington says it has evidence that Pyongyang has imported material for a suspected uranium enrichment programme along with its plutonium-based activities. The North has never admitted any uranium operation.