The North's statement did not specify what "differences" remained with the US.

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But it said that the talks with the Bosworth had "deepened mutual understandings, narrowed differences in their respective views and identified not a small number of things in common."

The statement echoed comments from Bosworth himself who said his visit to Pyongyang had delivered an understanding on the need to restart nuclear disarmament talks, but no clear time frame on when the North might return to the negotiations.

Speaking in Seoul on Thursday after flying out of Pyongyang, he said the talks had been candid but yielded mixed results.

Bosworth said he had conveyed a message from Barack Obama, the US president, calling firmly for a "complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula" while underlining Washington's willingness to end the North's isolation.

"As President Obama has made clear, the United States is prepared to work with our allies and partners in the region to offer North Korea a different future," he said.

North Korea pulled out of the nuclear disarmament talks in April [AFP]
"The path for North Korea to realise this future is to choose the door of dialogue in the six-party talks and to take irreversible steps to achieve the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula."

The disarmament talks bring together envoys from the US, China, Japan, Russia and North and South Korea.

North Korea walked away from negotiations in April, declaring the talks process "dead".

It followed the walk-out shortly afterwards by conducting a second nuclear weapon test and then a raft of missile tests.

Bosworth's visit did not include a meeting with leader Kim Jong Il, North Korea's reclusive leader.

According to state media he was busy inspecting a farm and a tractor factory north of Pyongyang.