The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) must address its uranium enrichment programme before stalled six-party denuclearisation talks can resume, the United States , the Republic of Korea (RoK) and Japan said on July 23.

The allies issued the joint statement after talks on the Indonesian island of Bali , saying uranium issue was among the key obstacles to the resumption of the six-way dialogue, which has been in limbo since December, 2008.

During the talks, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Japanese Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto and RoK Foreign Minister Kim Sung Hwan also spoke highly of the consensus reached by Wi Sung-lac, RoK Head of delegation to the six-party talks and his DPRK counterpart Ri Yong-ho at a bilateral meeting in Bali on July 22, during which the two sides agreed to further efforts to resume the six-party talks as soon as possible.

On the same day, RoK Foreign Minister Kim Sung Hwan met with his DPRK counterpart Pak Ui-Chun on the sidelines of the 18th ASEAN Regional Forum in Bali .

Experts described such meetings as a breakthrough to raise hope for the resumption of the six-party talks and ease tension between the two Koreans./.