(Edited from Xinhua, Seoul) South Korea’s top diplomat said Tuesday that the most urgent task the country is confronting with regards to the nuclear issues on the Korean peninsula is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) return to six-party nuclear talks, vowing to continue his efforts to resume the currently stalled negotiations.

(Edited from Xinhua, Seoul) South Korea’s top diplomat said Tuesday that the most urgent task the country is confronting with regards to the nuclear issues on the Korean peninsula is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) return to six-party nuclear talks, vowing to continue his efforts to resume the currently stalled negotiations.

 

South Korea’s top negotiator for the nuclear talks was to meet with his Chinese counterpart on Tuesday. On Wednesday, President Barack Obama’s special envoy on North Korea, Stephen Bosworth, was to do the same, China’s Foreign Ministry said.

 

A delegation from North Korea led by Kim Yong Il, director of the International Affairs Department of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, also was in Beijing on Tuesday to meet with Chinese officials.

 

“It is our main priority to bring North Korea (DPRK) back to the talking table and resume their denuclearization process as soon as possible,” said Seoul’s foreign minister Yu Myung-hwan in his speech at a meeting to commemorate President Lee Myung-bak’s second anniversary in office.

 

“It would be too soon to tell whether the recent meetings held between high-ranking officials of North Korea (DPRK) and China, and its seemingly positive ramifications would lead to the immediate resumption of six-party talks, but we are keenly monitoring the results of the meeting to focus all our diplomatic efforts in resuming the negotiation,” Yu added.

 

Yu also mentioned the same issue will be underscored as a top agenda item at this week’s ministerial meeting between him and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as well as U.S. special envoy Stephen Bosworth’s tour of Asia and South Korean chief nuclear negotiator Wi Sung-lac’s visit to China, both slated to begin Tuesday.

 

In addition, Yu said his government will continue its ‘Two- track approach’ policy, where they maintain a commitment to U.N. sanctions against the DPRK while simultaneously opening up channels of dialogue with their northern counterpart; however, he said it’s impermissible to ease restrictions before any apparent progress on denuclearization is made from the DPRK’s side. 

 

Yu and his U.S. counterpart Clinton is scheduled to hold a meeting on Friday in Washington D.C., following Bosworth’s visit to China, South Korea, and Japan, beginning Tuesday, on the nuclear stalemate in the Korean Peninsula.

 

South Korea’s nuclear envoy Wi, has embarked on a trip to China Tuesday where he will meet with China’s special representative for Korean Peninsula affairs Wu Dawei to discuss current conditions of the region, including the two countries’ efforts to resume the six- party talks, while also going over the recent visit by the DPRK’s Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Gye-Gwan to China. 

 

The six-party talks, involving the DPRK, South Korea, China, Japan, Russia and the United States, was launched in 2003 but has not seen any progress since April 2009 when the DPRK pulled out of the talks in protest of the U.N. condemnation of its missile tests.

 

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