May 26, 2015 12:21
Chief nuclear negotiators from South Korea, the U.S., China, and Japan will meet this week to find a way of restarting six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear program.
China will invite the chief South Korean and U.S. negotiators to Beijing simultaneously for the first time in what they hope will put more pressure on the North to return to the negotiating table.
Hwang Joon-kook, Sung Kim and Junichi Ihara from South Korea, the U.S. and Japan, will first meet in Seoul on Tuesday and Wednesday. This will be their first meeting since Jan. 28.
Hwang and Kim will then fly to Beijing to meet their Chinese counterpart Wu Dawei, though each will meet Wu separately.
"China has avoided a trilateral meeting because of its close relationship with Pyongyang," a government source here said. "This is the first time the three countries have ever held separate talks among themselves."
The four countries hope to make headway before annual joint South Korea-U.S. military exercises resume in August, since they are likely to put the North on the defensive again.
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