China Urges U.S. to Quickly Return to Nuke Talks With North Korea

Global Security Newswire Staff
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Global Security Newswire Staff
Sept. 16, 2013, 7:02 a.m.

China called on the United States dur­ing high-rank­ing bi­lat­er­al talks over the week­end to re­sume delayed mul­tina­tion­al ne­go­ti­ations fo­cused on end­ing North Korea’s nuc­le­ar-weapons de­vel­op­ment, the Yon­hap News Agency re­por­ted.

The Sat­urday con­ver­sa­tion — between U.S. As­sist­ant Sec­ret­ary of State for East Asi­an and Pa­cific Af­fairs Daniel Rus­sel, Chinese For­eign Min­is­ter Wang Yi and oth­er top Chinese of­fi­cials — came as Beijing is try­ing to con­vince Wash­ing­ton to send an of­fi­cial rep­res­ent­at­ive to semi-form­al six-party talks sched­uled for Wed­nes­day.

Those up­com­ing aid-for-de­nuc­lear­iz­a­tion talks in­volve China, Ja­pan, North and South Korea, Rus­sia and the United States. The last form­al round of ne­go­ti­ations took place in Decem­ber 2008. Since that time, Py­ongy­ang sub­stan­tially has en­hanced its nuc­le­ar-weapons pro­gram, car­ry­ing out a num­ber of long-range mis­sile tests, con­duct­ing two nuc­le­ar blasts and ramp­ing up its fis­sile-ma­ter­i­al pro­duc­tion cap­ab­il­it­ies.

“China stressed that, to achieve the de­nuc­lear­iz­a­tion of the Korean Pen­in­sula … both sides should be com­mit­ted to the swift re­sump­tion of the six-party talks,” Chinese For­eign Min­istry spokes­man Hong Lei said to journ­al­ists.

Wash­ing­ton, Seoul and Tokyo are hes­it­ant to send en­voys to take part in the largely aca­dem­ic Track 1.5 talks on Wed­nes­day, giv­en the lack of any sign by Py­ongy­ang that it is will­ing to give up its nuc­le­ar weapons. The South Korean For­eign Min­istry on Monday an­nounced it would send two lower-level of­fi­cials to the six-way meet­ing, Yon­hap re­por­ted.

A North Korean del­eg­a­tion, that is lead by First Vice For­eign Min­is­ter Kim Kye Gwan and in­cludes seni­or nuc­le­ar en­voy Ri Yong Ho, ar­rived in Beijing on Monday. Kim and Ri are sched­uled to take part in the semi-form­al nuc­le­ar talks, ac­cord­ing to Yon­hap.

“We are closely watch­ing the vis­it by Kim be­cause there is a pos­sib­il­ity that Kim may reach some sort of agree­ment when he holds talks with [his Chinese coun­ter­part Wu Da­wei],” an an­onym­ous South Korean dip­lo­mat­ic in­sider said.

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