He said the meeting would focus on the steps that North Korea has to take to become reintegrated with the global financial community.

 

He said the US wanted to emphasise to Pyongyang that the international financial system "is a rules-based system with its own set of expectations".

 

"Our challenge is to explain the international financial system and to explain those rules," added Glaser, a deputy assistant secretary in the US treasury.

 

In 2005 the US accused North Korea of committing widespread money laundering and counterfeiting and froze $25m in North Korean funds held at a Macau-based bank.

 

The row became a key sticking point in six-nation negotiations over North Korea's nuclear weapons programmes.

 

The row was eventually resolved earlier this year and the funds released to Pyongyang, paving the way for a landmark deal aimed at disarming North Korea of its nuclear weapons.

 

Critics of the deal in the US have accused the Bush administration of going soft on North Korea in an effort to secure a foreign policy success amid the ongoing conflict in Iraq.