Kim was speaking after returning from a visit to China, but did not elaborate further.

 

Talks on North Korea's nuclear programmes have been deadlocked over disputes between the US and North Korea over the latter's promised declaration of its past nuclear activities.

 

The last meeting involving envoys from China, Japan, the two Koreas, the United States, and Russia was held in October.

 

However, hopes for a fresh round have increased recently after the Bush administration indicated it was softening its stance and agreed to accept a less thorough nuclear declaration from Pyongyang.

 

Under a deal agreed last year, North Korea agreed to fully account for its nuclear activities as part of an overall nuclear disarmament process.

 

In return it is to receive aid and political concessions.

 

The US has accused North Korea, which conducted its first nuclear test in 2006, of refusing to address suspicions that it pursued a uranium-based nuclear program and transferred nuclear technology to Syria.

 

However, in April the Bush administration agreed to break the impasse by requiring Pyongyang to only acknowledge those concerns and to set up a system to verify that it does not conduct such activities in the future.

 

That concession led earlier this month to North Korea handing more than 18,000 pages of sensitive nuclear records over to a visiting US envoy.