January 03, 2011 10:19
U.S. special envoy for North Korea will travel to South Korea, China and Japan this week.
The State Department said in a statement Sunday that Ambassador Stephen Bosworth will visit the three countries from Monday to Friday. Washington's special envoy for six-party talks, Sung Kim, will accompany him.
Bosworth is scheduled to arrive in Seoul on Tuesday and travel to Beijing the next day. He will continue on to Tokyo on Thursday.
The State Department says he will meet with senior government officials in all three cities to discuss the "next steps on the Korea Peninsula."
Tensions on the Korean peninsula reached a critical level after North Korea's November artillery attack on a South Korean island. South Korea also blames the North for the sinking of its warship, the Cheonan, in March, which killed 46 crewmen.
North Korea abandoned six-party nuclear disarmament talks last year, but has recently signaled it wants to return to the negotiating table.
The United States, Russia, China, South Korea and Japan are also parties to the aid-for-disarmament talks.
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