[EXCERPT] REPORT ON STATE DEPT. BRIEFING,
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23
NORTH KOREA -- U.S. and North Korean officials conducted a 90-minute meeting in New York City April 22, Burns reported. North Korea has yet to respond one way or another to U.S./South Korean offers for peace talks for the Korean peninsula. No date has been set for the next set of discussions. The North Korean delegation has been attempting to link peace talks with food aid, Burns said. "If food is urgently needed -- and it is -- and they know that, why in the world would we want to link food aid to these slow-as-molasses political talks that have taken 43 years to not even begin," Burns said. "So food is an urgent priority, and we're not willing to link it to anything, and neither should they." Burns added that the United States will not be lifting sanctions against North Korea until North Korea addresses the U.S. concerns that led to these sanctions being imposed.
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