US welcomes NK reporters' trial

Current TV journalists set to be tried June 4 for spying

WASHINGTON -- The United States welcomed on Thursday North Korea's decision to set a trial date for two U.S. journalists arrested in March and said there was an "open door" to resume talks on ending Pyongyang's nuclear programs.

However, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also told reporters that the United States was not interested in "chasing after" North Korea or offering the impoverished communist state incentives to return to the negotiating table.

North Korea said it would put the two journalists, who were arrested along the North Korea-China border and accused of illegally entering North Korea, on trial on June 4.

Analysts said the reclusive North sees them as bargaining chips to try to win concessions out of the government of U.S. President Barack Obama, which is pressing Pyongyang to return to stalled nuclear disarmament talks.

Clinton welcomed the fact that the trial was set to begin shortly, adding "the fact that they are now going to have some process we believe is a signal that there can be, and I hope will be, a resolution as soon as possible."

"We intend to have an open door for a return to the six-party talks," Clinton added, referring to talks among the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States on ending North Korea's nuclear programs.

"The ball is in the North Korean court. We are not concerned about chasing after North Korea and offering concessions to North Korea."
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