"The Obama Administration reacted to [North Korea's recent] missile and nuclear tests by seeking United Nations sanctions against North Korea. It secured U.N. [United Nations] Security Council approval of Resolution 1874 in June 2009. The resolution calls on U.N. members to restrict financial transactions in their territories related to North Korean sales of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) to other countries. It also calls on U.N. members to prevent the use of their territories by North Korea for the shipment of WMD to other countries. In December 2009, the Administration sent a special envoy to North Korea in an attempt to secure North Korean agreement to return to the six party talks. North Korea gave a general positive statement regarding six party talks; but it raised other issues, including its proposal for negotiation of a U.S.-North Korean peace treaty, and appeared to seek a continuation of bilateral meetings with the United States. North Korea seemed to moderate its provocative policies in August 2009. It invited former President Bill Clinton to North Korea, where he secured the release of two female American reporters who were taken prisoner by the North Koreans along the China-North Korea border. It also released a South Korean worker at the Kaesong industrial complex in North Korea, whom the North Koreans had arrested in March 2009. A North Korean delegation came to Seoul for the funeral of former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and met with President Lee Myung-bak. This raised the prospect of renewed U.S.-North Korean negotiations over the nuclear issue, but any future negotiations appear to face daunting obstacles."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33590