Japan, the United States and South Korea agreed on Thursday to work together to put more pressure on North Korea to get it to abandon its nuclear and missile programmes, Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Shinsuke Sugiyama said.
DeTrani participated in an unofficial, off-the-record meeting with North Korean officials, including Deputy Foreign Minister Han Song-ryol, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on October 21 and 22.
"The notion of getting the North Koreans to denuclearise is probably a lost cause".
The communist dictatorship of North Korea has run five known nuclear tests, including two this year.
It is unlikely that the United States will be able to influence North Korea to denuclearize, a senior US official said Tuesday, in one of the frankest senior government assessments of USA policy goals for the peninsula in decades.
"At this unofficial meeting, North Korea spoke about their security concerns and need for a nuclear deterrence, given the hostile relationship they have with the U.S.", Joseph DeTrani, a former top U.S. intelligence specialist who helped broker a 2005 agreement on North Korea's nuclear program, said by e-mail.
"We want to continue to see a verifiable denuclearisation of the (Korean) peninsula", Mr Kirby said.
Chang Yong-suk, a senior researcher at Seoul National University's Institute for Peace and Unification Studies, said the talks reaped results if North Korea had suggested it was willing to talk denuclearization, according to News 1.
Washington has always maintained it can not accept North Korea as a nuclear state and, under President Barack Obama, has made any talks with Pyongyang conditional on the country first making some tangible commitment towards denuclearisation.
"The best we could probably hope for is some sort of a cap, but they are not going to do that just because we ask them".
Washington and Seoul insist it is purely for defending against threats from North Korea. "I think we are in a different era", said Chris Hill, former USA ambassador to South Korea, who also headed the USA delegation in the Six Party Talks on North Korea's nuclear program.
"If you want to talk about policy, you retire first". This year it has conducted two underground nuclear tests as well as almost two dozen missile tests.
South Korea has made a decision to restart talks with Japan on signing a bilateral agreement on sharing sensitive military information, a South Korean Defense Ministry official said Thursday.
While the chances of immediate formal negotiations are low, DeTrani said that North Korea may be willing to enter into exploratory talks with the U.S.
If it doesn't, he said, "we can always come back to a tougher approach".
"Nevertheless, we ascribe to them the capability to launch a missile that would have a weapon on it to reach parts of the United States, certainly including Alaska and Hawaii".
South Korea also emphasized there would be no changes to their hardline position on the North.
Clapper also expressed concern that Russian anti-aircraft weapons could make a potential US-enforced no-fly zone in Syria risky for American personnel.