U.S., China to discuss six-party talks

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U.S., China to discuss six-party talks

WASHINGTON - Senior U.S. officials were to meet with China’s chief nuclear envoy, Wu Dawei, Wednesday in Washington to discuss reopening six-party talks on North Korea’s nuclear dismantlement. The talks have been stalled over international sanctions for North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests.

Wu was going to meet with Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg, Special Representative for North Korea Policy Stephen Bosworth, special envoy for the six-party talks Ambassador Sung Kim and Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell.

The purpose was to “continue our ongoing consultations with China, as we have with other partners in the six-party process, to evaluate the way forward with respect to the Korean Peninsula,” said State Department spokesman Philip Crowley.

The Chinese envoy’s visit comes on the heels of last week’s summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and Chinese President Hu Jintao, the second such meeting in three months.

During the summit in the northeastern Chinese provincial city of Changchun, Kim called for early resumption of the six-party talks, North Korean and Chinese media reported.

Crowley said he hoped Wu would brief U.S. officials about Kim’s summit with Hu.

“We will discuss conversations that we’ve had,” Crowley said. “I’m certain that the Chinese will give us their perspective, based on the meetings in recent days in China.”

Wu visited Pyongyang early last week and toured Seoul and Tokyo to discuss the idea of Washington holding bilateral talks with Pyongyang before proceeding with another round of nuclear talks, which were last held in December 2008.

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