China calls on U.S. for 'swift' resumption of N. Korea nuclear talks
BEIJING, Sept. 16 (Yonhap) -- China has urged the United States to pursue a "swift" resumption of the long-stalled talks aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear weapons program, China's foreign ministry said Monday, amid reports that the North appears to have restarted its nuclear reactor.
The request was made at a series of meetings on Saturday in Beijing between Daniel Russel, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, and China's high-ranking officials, including Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
China's foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters that Russel and Chinese officials had an "in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations and international and regional issues."
"On the Korean nuclear issue, China stressed that, to achieve the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, uphold peace and stability and serve the common interests of both China and the U.S., both sides should be committed to the swift resumption of the six-party talks," Hong said during a regular press briefing.
"Both sides agreed to stay in close communications on relevant issues," Hong said.
Hong's remarks suggested that Russel and Chinese officials apparently failed to narrow differences over how to revive the six-way talks.
China is currently pushing to organize an informal multilateral meeting this week of senior government officials and academics from the six nations involved in the denuclearization talks with North Korea. The talks, which involve the two Koreas, the U.S., China, Russia and Japan, have been stalled since late 2008.
South Korea, the U.S. and Japan are cautious about the Chinese proposal for an informal meeting at a time when North Korea's seriousness on dialogue about its nuclear programs remains untested and an American citizen is still jailed in the communist nation.