President Obama Sends Letter to Kim Jong-il in Effort to Restart Nucear Disarmament Talks

Barack Obama has sent a letter to North Korea's leader Kim Jong-il to persuade him to return to nuclear disarmament talks.

The US president's special envoy, Stephen Bosworth, delivered the letter while visiting Pyongyang last week for three days of discussions with officials.

Obama hopes to encourage North Korea to return to talks over denuclearisation. The country left aid-for-disarmament discussions a year ago, vowing never to return. It subsequently tested a nuclear device in May.

On Friday, Pyongyang hinted after the talks with Bosworth that it could end its year-long boycott of the six-party negotiations over its nuclear program.

The truce that ended the 1950-53 Korea war has left the two Koreas in a technical state of war. Talks among the four main combatants in the Korean War -- the two Koreas, the United States and China -- were suspended in 1999 after making little progress.