Seoul: South Korean and Chinese officials
will hold talks in Seoul next week to discuss the situation in
North Korea after the death of leader Kim Jong-Il, the foreign
ministry said on Friday.
First Vice Minister Park Suk-Hwan and Chinese Vice
Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun are expected to meet on Tuesday,
a spokeswoman said.
She said the annual strategic talks would give the two
countries a chance to discuss the aftermath of Kim's death.
"The meeting is aimed at sharing views on the current
situation after the passing of Kim Jong-Il and consulting on
the way forward regarding the Korean Peninsula," Yonhap news
agency quoted an unidentified official as saying.
Efforts to revive six-party negotiations on scrapping the
North's nuclear programme would also be discussed, he said.
Seoul's chief nuclear delegate Lim Sung-Nam visited China
yesterday and today for talks with his counterpart Wu Dawei.
The six-party talks, chaired by China and also involving
the two Koreas, the United States, Russia and Japan, have been
at a standstill since December 2008.
Negotiations to resurrect them appeared to be making
progress before Kim's death last Saturday. Media reports said
Pyongyang would agree to suspend its uranium enrichment
programme in return for food aid from Washington.
Suspending the uranium programme -- seen as a potential
source of bomb-making fuel -- is a key US demand before the
six-party talks resume.
First Published: Friday, December 23, 2011, 16:25