US: More talks needed with NKorea on food aid

By the Associated Press | December 20, 2011 | 2:25 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States says it needs to have more talks with North Korea before it reaches a decision on whether to provide the impoverished country with food aid.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Tuesday that negotiations on the issue between U.S. and North Korean officials in Beijing last week were "inconclusive."

The U.S. still needs to complete its own assessment of food needs and has unresolved concerns over how aid would be monitored.

Nuland said the U.S. has conveyed those concerns to North Korea diplomats in New York, but does not expect to be able to resolve the matter before the New Year, as North Korea is in a period of official mourning for its leader Kim Jong Il, who died over the weekend.