Wu Dawei, China’s chief delegate to the six-party talks on North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, will discuss the issue with chief Japanese delegate Kenichiro Sasae on Wednesday in Tokyo, Foreign Ministry officials said Monday.
The main purpose of the visit by the Chinese vice foreign minister will be to coordinate policies on the nuclear issue with Sasae prior to resumption of the talks planned for next week, the officials said.
Wu and Sasae, director general of the Foreign Ministry’s Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, are expected to confirm their countries’ position regarding North Korea’s insistence that its nuclear programs for peaceful purpose be tolerated.
North Korea maintained this position during the fourth round of the six-party talks which began in late July after a 13-month hiatus.
But the United States continued to urge North Korea to dismantle its nuclear programs, including those for civilian use, a difference which led to the talks breaking for a recess. Japan sided with the U.S.
Wu is expected to arrive Tuesday, a government source said.
The source also said the six-party talks involving China, Japan, North and South Korea, Russia and the U.S. are “expected to be resumed as planned.”
Wu will also meet with Deputy Foreign Minister Tsuneo Nishida on Wednesday, mainly to discuss bilateral ties between Japan and China as well as various international issues, the officials said.
Sasae plans to have a similar policy coordination meeting with Lee Jong Seok, deputy head of the South Korean National Security Council, in Tokyo on Wednesday.
South Korea was formerly in step with the U.S. and Japan in urging North Korea to completely dismantle its nuclear programs.
But South Korea has recently softened its stance, saying Pyongyang is entitled to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes — a difference Sasae and Lee are likely to discuss.
Sasae will also visit Washington on Thursday and meet with Christopher Hill, the assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs who heads the U.S. delegation to the six-party talks, the source said.
Sasae and Hill are expected to reaffirm their commitment to continue working closely on the nuclear issue and discuss the outcome of bilateral talks between U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Korean Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Ban Ki Moon on Wednesday in Washington.
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