US hopes to persuade North Korea to start international negotiations again

He spoke in an interview with foreign reporters ahead of this week's trip to Germany and to St. Petersburg, Russia.

Chinese President Hu Jintao on Tuesday urged a visiting North Korean official, Yang Hyop Sop, to avoid aggravating tensions with its missile test program. The U.S. envoy to the North Korean talks, Christopher Hill, was also in Beijing, urging China to press North Korea to stop missile tests and return to six-nation nuclear talks, the AP reports.

Bush again rejected direct talks with North Korea, saying "the United States tried to deal with him bilaterally in the past and it didn't work."

He said he does not know what North Korean leader Kim Jong Il is trying to achieve, but said that Kim "sent a signal that he really was not afraid of isolating himself even further."

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