China works to restart North Korean diplomacy

Nov. 5, 2013 at 10:46 AM
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BEIJING, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- Beijing said Tuesday its chief North Korean delegate was in Pyongyang to discuss a possible return to the multilateral nuclear negotiating table.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said North Korean special envoy Wu Dawei left Monday for North Korea. The spokesman said the Chinese government wanted all parties to return to the negotiating table because tensions on the Korean Peninsula have eased, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Tuesday.

Six-party talks between the two Koreas, China, the United States, Russia and Japan stalled in 2009. North Korea has conducted two nuclear tests since then.

Experts on North Korea at Johns Hopkins University wrote Monday on their blog, 38 North, that missile mockups seen from North Korea in 2012 and 2013 may be emblematic of an ongoing development program.

"The precise configuration of the missile is less important at the moment than the fact that North Korea appears to be moving to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile," the wrote.

North Korea has threatened to strike the Western U.S. coast with its missiles. However, North Korea's weapons program may not be advanced enough to arm a missile with a nuclear warhead.

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