A senior official confirmed press accounts that last August India turned back - at the request of the United States - a North Korean plane that had sought to cross Indian airspace bound for Iran.
The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal said U.S. officials suspected the plane, owned by the North Korean state airline, carried advanced weapons hardware such as long-range missile components.
The United States has long accused North Korea of selling missile technology to countries like Iran, Syria, and Libya. Such activity is to be accounted for, and ended, under the six-party accord.
This revelation comes to light as meetings are scheduled between a senior U.S. diplomat and a North Korean foreign ministry delegation on Thursday in New York to discuss the next steps for the six-party accord. And after the Bush administration removed North Korea from the U.S. list of State sponsors of terrorism.