China special envoy visits North Korea

China said on Thursday that a top envoy had visited North Korea this week for talks on the resumption of negotiations aimed at ending Pyongyang`s nuclear drive, with tensions running high in the region.

Beijing: China said on Thursday that a top envoy
had visited North Korea this week for talks on the resumption
of negotiations aimed at ending Pyongyang`s nuclear drive,
with tensions running high in the region.

The trip by the official, Wu Dawei, came as an aircraft
believed to be a North Korean fighter jet crashed in China`s
northeast, killing the pilot, amid reports he might have been
trying to escape the impoverished state.
Wu, China`s special envoy on Korean affairs, travelled to
North Korea on Monday and returned yesterday, the foreign
ministry said in a statement.

Wu met North Korea`s foreign minister and the head of the
international department of the Korean Workers` Party Central
Committee, it added.

He "exchanged views with North Korea about maintaining
peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and restarting the
process of the six-party talks," the ministry said.

The six-party nuclear disarmament talks -- which include
the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States --
have been stalled since Pyongyang stormed out in April last
year.

Wu`s visit comes amid high tensions in the region after
the United States and South Korea conducted major joint naval
exercises in the Sea of Japan (East Sea).

The military drills were aimed at warning North Korea --
China`s ally -- after the sinking of a South Korean warship
that Seoul and its allies say was carried out by a North
Korean submarine.
Last week, Seoul also staged its largest-ever
anti-submarine drill near the disputed Yellow Sea border.

Tensions escalated further after North Korea seized a
South Korean squid fishing boat and fired artillery into the
Yellow Sea when South Korea was wrapping up the anti-submarine
exercise.

PTI

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