China discusses N. Korea with U.S., S. Korea

China discusses N. Korea with U.S., S. Korea

BEIJING, Feb. 28 Kyodo

China held talks Monday with the United States and South Korea over North Korea’s nuclear standoff, a day after Japan briefed Beijing about the results of Saturday’s talks among Japanese, South Korean and U.S. officials on the issue, according to state-run media.

The talks between China and the United States were held in the form of a meeting between Wang Jiarui, head of the Chinese Communist Party’s International Department, and Stephen Krasner, director of policy planning at the U.S. State Department, according to Xinhua News Agency.

Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, meanwhile, held a telephone conversation with South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki Moon, Xinhua said in a separate dispatch.

In their talks, Wang and Krasner ”exchanged views on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and other international and regional issues of common concern,” Xinhua said, without elaboration.

A U.S. Embassy spokeswoman had no immediate comment on Krasner’s visit.

Li and Ban, meanwhile, agreed in the telephone conversation to strengthen coordination and cooperation to revive the stalled six-party talks on North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, Xinhua reported.

The series of talks took place after Japan’s chief delegate to the six-way talks briefed Beijing about the results of his discussions with senior South Korean and U.S. diplomats in Seoul in a meeting on Sunday.

In the Seoul meeting, the three countries agreed to call on North Korea to return to the six-way talks unconditionally, without delay.

The gathering in Seoul was intended to coordinate policy after North Korean leader Kim Jong Il told China’s Wang, who visited Pyongyang earlier this month, that Pyongyang might return to the six-country talks if certain conditions are met.

North Korea sent shockwaves through the international community with its declaration on Feb. 10 that it possesses nuclear weapons and that it was boycotting the six-nation talks indefinitely.

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