Beijing: Chinese Defence Minister Liang Guanglie will visit North Korea soon, state-run media said on Friday, amid efforts to draw Pyongyang back to nuclear disarmament talks.
Liang's trip, which also will take him to Japan and Thailand, will begin on Sunday and run through December 5, the China News Service reported, without giving a specific itinerary.
It gave no reason for the trip but the announcement follows a visit to China this week by US President Barack Obama during which he and China's Hu Jintao called for an early resumption of six-party talks on the North's nuclear drive.
The talks include the United States, Russia, Japan, the two Koreas and hosts China.
Obama said in Seoul on Thursday that the US envoy on the nuclear issue, Stephen Bosworth, would visit Pyongyang next month for direct talks aimed at restarting the long-running disarmament negotiations.
The North quit the talks in April, a month before staging a second atomic weapons test.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il said last month his country was ready to return to the talks but only if bilateral discussions with the United States were satisfactory.
First Published: Friday, November 20, 2009, 13:16