Chief delegates to the six-party talks on North Korea’s nuclear programs failed Wednesday to reach agreement on restarting the stalled negotiations after several days of meetings in Tokyo.

The top delegates of the United States and North Korea — the key players in the six-way talks, which have been stalled since November — held no formal discussions, although they spoke with each other briefly.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Christopher Hill met in the morning with his South Korean counterpart, Deputy Foreign Minister Chun Young Woo, for what was believed to be his final six-party consultation while in Tokyo.

“It’s really not our job to get back to the talks,” Hill said after a meeting with Chun the day before. “It’s (the North Koreans’) job to get themselves back to the talks.”

The six-party talks have been deadlocked as North Korea has refused to return to the negotiating table unless the U.S. lifts sanctions it has imposed on a Macau-based bank suspected of laundering money and counterfeiting for the North.

Washington says the sanctions are a law enforcement matter unrelated to the talks.

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