SEOUL, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- Officials from China and South Korea met in Seoul on Monday to discuss regional security, including the objective of a non-nuclear North Korea.
"The two sides agreed to further strengthen bilateral and multilateral cooperation for peace and security on the Korean Peninsula," a South Korean foreign ministry official told Yonhap News.
According to the official, the Chinese delegation "showed its support" for South Korean efforts to improve inter-Korean relations and agreed to support a "zero tolerance" stance toward North Korea's nuclear weapons program.
Monday's meeting marked the second such gathering since December 2013 and followed a New Year's Day proposal by North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un "to hold the highest-level talks."
Six-party talks, involving China, Japan, North and South Korea, Russia and the U.S., began in 2003 with the goal of finding a peaceful resolution to security concerns over North Korea's nuclear weapons program but stalled in 2008 when Pyongyang walked away from the negotiating table.
Despite the North's recent proposal to resume talks with the South, tensions remain high. North Korean's state-run Korean Central News Agency blasted a new set of U.S. sanctions on Sunday that were issued in response to a suspected North Korean cyber attack on Sony Pictures, claiming that such sanctions "would only harden [the North's] will and resolution to defend the sovereignty of the country."
Washington and Seoul have insisted that talks with the North cannot resume without Pyongyang demonstrating its commitment toward denuclearization.