WASHINGTON (CNN) - White House officials are pouring cold water on North Korea's claim that it is "owed" direct talks with the Obama administration after a meeting Wednesday with New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson.
Senior Obama administration officials said the six-party talks are still the proper venue for such a dialogue, and the officials stressed that Richardson was not negotiating on the president's behalf.
"Our policy toward North Korea remains today as it has been - calling for the complete de-nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," said one of the senior administration officials. "We believe the six-party talks are the best forum for that. The bottom line is the ball is in North Korea's court."
The officials said North Korea can choose one of two paths, either continued provocation by testing missiles or a more peaceful road in which they live up to previous commitments.