SEOUL, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- The United States, Japan and South Korea representatives of the six-party talks are to hold an emergency meeting in response to North Korea's claimed hydrogen bomb test.
The talks, to be held Wednesday in Seoul, come about a month after Ambassador Sung Kim, U.S. special representative for North Korea policy; Hwang Joon-kook, South Korea special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs; and Japanese delegate Kimihiro Ishikane met in Washington, D.C., in December.
The three delegates are expected to discuss additional sanctions under consideration at the United Nations Security Council, South Korean television network SBS reported Monday.
South Korea is hosting the talks in hopes of persuading a less forthcoming China, a permanent member of the Security Council and North Korea's closest economic partner, to take a stronger stand against Pyongyang's provocations, South Korean newspaper Seoul Economy Daily reported.
Hwang is expected to travel to Beijing on Thursday to hold a separate meeting with Wu Dawei, China's special representative for Korean Peninsula Affairs.
But differences of opinion linger between South Korea and China regarding North Korea's nuclear provocations. Seoul has insisted on a strong response to Pyongyang, but China has said the issue needs to be resolved through dialogue – despite Beijing's waning influence over the Kim Jong Un leadership.
Russia, for its part, has suggested restarting the six-party talks as the best way to solve the nuclear issue, South Korean outlet News 1 reported.
Alexander Timonin, Russia's ambassador to Seoul, said during an emergency meeting with South Korea parliamentarians, and U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert, that it is "too early" to assess the magnitude of the recent North Korea nuclear test, though adding that North Korea behavior is a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions.
Timonin said the nuclear issue should be resolved peacefully.