North Korea, which conducted its first nuclear test in October, had agreed to return to the disarmament talks as long as there were separate discussions on the financial issues.
 
Daniel Glaser, the American deputy assistant treasury secretary for terrorist financing and financial crimes, said he was hopeful of untangling the financial dispute during the two-day discussions.
 
"We're prepared to go through these talks as long as it takes for us to get through our agenda," he said. "I'm hopeful we'll make progress."
 
The new date for the six-party talks was announced after recent meetings between Christopher Hill, the chief US negotiator, and his North Korean counterpart Kim Kye-gwan in Germany.
 
Positive attitude
 
Jiang Yu, a spokeswoman for China's foreign ministry who announced the February 8 date for the six-party talks, said there had "been significant contacts between the various parties on how to move the [six-party] talks forward and implement the joint statement".
 
"We hope that all sides will continue to display a positive attitude, strengthen dialogue, enhance trust and as early as possible fully implement the joint statement and realise the goal of denuclearising the Korean peninsula."
 
The envoys will be seeking to flesh out an agreement for initial implementation of a September 2005 joint statement where Pyongyang committed to dismantle its nuclear weapons in return for economic and security assurances.
 
Hill said on Monday that North Korea had a "strong" commitment to end its nuclear programme.
 
The last round of six-party negotiations in December ended in a stalemate.