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China, North Korea hold strategic talks

June 19, 2013 at 12:27 PM

BEIJING, June 19 (UPI) -- The North Korean government said Wednesday it was involved in high-level strategic talks with Chinese officials in Beijing.

China has expressed frustration with North Korea's nuclear ambitions. Ben Rhodes, a security adviser for the White House, said President Obama held "a lengthy conversation" about North Korea during last week's visit with Chinese President Xi Jinping in California.

North Korean nuclear negotiator Kim Kye-gwan was quoted by South Korean news agency Yonhap as saying "strategic dialogue" was under way with Chinese officials Wednesday in Beijing.

China was party to multilateral nuclear negotiations with North Korea. Those negotiations stalled in 2008 and North Korea has since conducted three underground nuclear tests.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye is expected to raise North Korean concerns when she meets later this month with the Chinese president in Beijing.

China's official Xinhua News Agency made no mention of the meeting with North Korean officials. It published a photo gallery Wednesday of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspecting the nation's air force.

Xi met Wednesday with visiting U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Xinhua reported both leaders discussed China's obligations as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council.

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