South Korea discuss with U.S. NKorea's invitation to chief U.S. nuclear envoy

The agreement called for North Korea's pledge to abandon its nuclear program in return for aid and security guarantees.

Hill, who had expressed a desire to visit the North if it would help the arms negotiations, has said he would discuss the invitation with other partners in the six-nation talks.

Ban said the invitation, made through the North's Foreign Ministry, needed to be looked at in detail.

The nuclear talks involve the two Koreas, the U.S., China, Russia and Japan, according to the AP.

The highest-level U.S. official ever to visit North Korea was then-U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in October 2000. The two countries do not have formal diplomatic relations.

The nuclear talks have been deadlocked since last November, when negotiators made no progress toward implementing the September agreement.

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