Official: China positive on talks with South Korea, U.S. on N. Korea

April 25, 2013 at 9:35 AM

SEOUL, April 25 (UPI) -- China is considering informal, trilateral discussions with South Korea and the United States on North Korea, an official in Seoul said Thursday.

Conducting the so-called 1.5-track security dialogue, in which government officials and academics from South Korea, the United States and China participate, was raised by South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se to step up joint policy coordination toward an increasingly belligerent North Korea, Yonhap reported.

Yun and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met in Beijing Wednesday and agreed to open a 24-hour hotline to consult on policy concerning North Korea.

"China is positively considering starting a 1.5-track strategic dialogue with South Korea and the U.S.," an official with South Korea's Foreign Ministry said.

The official, speaking anonymously, told Yonhap the three countries could speed up a start of the three-way dialogue "to deepen their strategic communications at higher-level officials."

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have increased since North Korea's nuclear test in February. In response to the latest U.N. sanctions following the nuclear test, North Korea has threatened pre-emptive missile launch against South Korea and the United States and unilaterally voided the Korean War cease-fire, among other actions.

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