SEOUL (AFP) – South Korea and China will resume talks this week on efforts to curb North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme, following reported moves by Washington and Pyongyang to revive a long-stalled six-nation denuclearisation forum.
Hwang Joon-Kook, South Korea’s chief delegate to the six-party talks, will meet his Chinese counterpart Wu Dawei in Beijing on Wednesday, Seoul’s foreign ministry said.
The two, picking up where they left off last October, will discuss ways to prevent further North Korean nuclear tests and the possibility of “reactivating denuclearisation talks”, said ministry spokesman Noh Kwang-Il.
The Beijing meeting raises the possibility of a new round of diplomacy to revive the six-party talks last held in December 2008, and grouping the two Koreas, host China, Russia, Japan and the United States.
The Washington Post on Monday said US and North Korean nuclear envoys had been secretly discussing the idea of “talks about talks” but had been unable to agree on practical arrangements.
“We want to test if they have an interest in resuming negotiations,” it quoted a senior US administration official as saying.