So. Korean negotiator arrives in Beijing to discuss No. Korea

June 21, 2013 at 12:31 PM

BEIJING, June 21 (UPI) -- South Korea's chief negotiator on North Korea's nuclear program held talks in Beijing with his Chinese counterpart Friday.

Cho Tae-yong told the South Korean Yonhap news agency he did not plan to meet with Kim Kye Gwang, the North Korean negotiator, who was also in the Chinese capital. Kim was in discussions earlier this week with Wu Dawei of China while Cho was in Washington for talks with the U.S. and Japanese negotiators.

"South Korea and China are on the same footing that the two nations won't accept North Korea as a nuclear-armed state," Cho told Yonhap as he arrived in Beijing. "Based on the consensus, we will hold consultations."

The six-party talks, which also involve Russia, have been stalled since 2008. Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for China's foreign ministry, told reporters Thursday her government is optimistic about restarting them.

One major stumbling block, Yonhap said, is that North Korea wants no preconditions for the talks, which the United States says is unacceptable.

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