WASHINGTON, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- The Untied States on Tuesday hailed the first talks held by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and South Korea over the past two years as a positive sign, but did not voice full-throated support.
The White House welcomed the senior-level dialogue between the two Koreas, during which the two sides agreed to hold separate military talks, with the DPRK also consenting to send a delegation to the South Korea-hosted Winter Olympics next month.
"North Korean (DPRK) participation is an opportunity for the regime to see the value of ending its international isolation by denuclearizing," White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters on Tuesday.
"Clearly this is a positive development," said U.S. State Department Spokesperson Steve Goldstein at a briefing Tuesday afternoon.
"We would like nuclear talks to occur," said Goldstein, adding that this is "a good first step in that process."
Over the weekend, U.S. President Donald Trump expressed his willingness to talk with Kim Jong Un, top leader of the DPRK, and supported the upcoming dialogues.
"I always believe in talking," Trump told reporters at Camp David on Saturday when asked whether he was willing to engage in phone talks with Kim right now.
However, both Trump and other U.S. officials stopped short of considering a direct talk between the United States and the DPRK without any preconditions.
Trump said any talk will come with prerequisites.
"Talks are vital... but it has to occur with the conditions that we outlined," said Goldstein.
Experts urged Washington to further commit itself to the peace-making process and final denuclearization of the peninsula.
U.S. scholar on the DPRK affairs John Delury argued that actual negotiations on denuclearization, arms control and peace mechanisms will require direct U.S. participation.
"The sooner the Trump administration follows (South Korean President) Moon's lead in opening a direct channel to Pyongyang, the better," said Delury in an editorial published on the website of Foreign Affairs earlier this week.