01/12/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

North Korea Nuclear Talks Collapse, Major Setback For Bush

WASHINGTON -- A final push by President Bush to complete an agreement to dismantle North Korea's nuclear weapons program collapsed Thursday, leaving the confrontation with one of the world's most isolated and intractable nations to the administration of President-elect Barack Obama.

Four days of negotiations in Beijing ended in an impasse after North Korea refused to agree to a system of verifying that it had ended all nuclear activity, which it had pledged to do. Among other things, the North Koreans have objected to allowing soil and air samples to be taken near nuclear facilities and sent overseas for testing.