US and North Korean officials met in Beijing on Thursday for talks on Pyongyang's nuclear programme, the first since the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in December.
More talks are scheduled on Friday.
The BBC reports the long-term aim is to restart six-nation talks on disarmament, which broke down in 2009.
The United States wants to find out if North Korea's new leader Kim Jong-un is willing to discuss giving up nuclear weapons.
The US is offering food aid in exchange for North Korea abandoning its nuclear arms programme.
North Korea conducted a nuclear test in 2006 and a second in 2009.
Since then tensions on the peninsula have remained high, particularly between the two Koreas.