The U.S. and North Korea are to begin "exploratory" talks in an effort to resume denuclearization negotiations. A top North Korean diplomat will visit New York this week following a first round of negotiation talks between North Korea and the Republic of Korea. The two sides agreed to resume the six-party talks, a major development since North Korea refused to join a multinational nuclear disarmament initiative in 2008. "This will be an exploratory meeting to determine if North Korea is prepared to affirm its obligations under international and Six Party Talk commitments, as well as take concrete and irreversible steps toward denuclearization," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement. "We are open to talks with North Korea, but we do not intend to reward the North just for returning to the table." said Clinton. The six-party talks include the two Koreas, the United States, China, Japan and Russia.