WASHINGTON (AP) _ The State Department welcomed on Monday plans by North and South Korea to resume a government-level dialogue.

Spokesman James Foley said the United States believes that improvement of relations between North and South Korea can only contribute to the achievement of the goals of the four-party talks on a permanent peace settlement.

He said progress on the bilateral level and in four-party talks, which include the North and South, China and the United States, are mutually reinforcing.