The AFP reports that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will meet with the foreign ministers of Japan and South Korea on Monday, circumventing a proposal by China to meet more broadly with Russia, China and North Korea. "Talks are no substitute for having North Korea fulfil its international obligations" said State Department spokesman Philip Crowley.
Meanwhile, Japan and the US are set to start week-long joint miltary drills tomorrow, reports Bloomberg. The drills will involve more than 44,000 soldiers from both nations.
Within North Korea, the New York Times reports daily life is "business as usual"., based on reports by foreign aid workers in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang. "It sounds like it feels like it's 'more of the same' for these Koreans" reported one anonymous foreigner stationed there.
In other news on the peninsula, free trade talks between US and Korea have stretched into a third day, one day longer than planned, reports the Wall Street Journal's Korea Real Time blog.