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Beijing: U.S., China six-party talks envoys discussed North Korea

By Elizabeth Shim
Beijing: U.S., China six-party talks envoys discussed North Korea
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (L) and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi hold a joint press conference in Beijing on Saturday. Six-party talks representatives of both sides may have met separately to discuss North Korea denuclearization, according to Beijing's foreign ministry. Photo courtesy of U.S. State Department | License Photo

March 20 (UPI) -- U.S. and Chinese representatives of the six-party talks on North Korea denuclearization met in Beijing, China's foreign ministry said Monday.

Chinese Deputy Director of the Foreign Ministry Hua Chunying said the U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy Joseph Yun met with his Chinese counterpart Wu Dawei, Japanese newspaper Nihon Keizai reported.

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The two sides discussed ways to ease tensions on the Korean peninsula and methods of restarting talks on North Korea denuclearization, according to the report.

Hua said delegates agreed they wanted to maintain peace and security in the region.

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The U.S. State Department confirmed Yun was in Beijing on Friday and was in Seoul on Monday to discuss the North Korea policy of the Trump administration, according to South Korean news service News 1.

Yun plans to meet with South Korea's representative to the six-party talks Kim Hong-kyun.

Neither report, however, mentioned whether the U.S. and Chinese representatives discussed the deployment of THAAD, the U.S. missile defense system that has stirred controversy in the region and prompted Chinese economic retaliation against South Korea.

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On Monday, South Korean television network KBS reported protests in China are escalating against South Korean businesses like Lotte, because of their decision to support the deployment.

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China has claimed the powerful THAAD radar could be used to monitor military movements within its borders.

The United States has tried to reassure Beijing the system is being placed solely for the purpose of blocking North Korea missiles.

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In China, South Korean embassies have issued a travel advisory for its citizens because of growing anger in China against South Korea and rising boycotts against South Korean businesses and products.

Lotte has shut down more than 10 discount retail outlet locations for safety reasons.

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