BEIJING (Kyodo) Chief nuclear negotiator Akitaka Saiki said Monday he told his Chinese counterpart that a rocket launch by North Korea planned for next month would have a negative impact on the stalled six-party denuclearization talks.

Saiki, head of the Foreign Ministry’s Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, said he agreed with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei in their meeting to cooperate and seek ways to press ahead with North Korea’s denuclearization.

“I told him that I am very concerned that the six-party talks may be impacted in an unfavorable way, depending on the missile situation,” Saiki said after the meeting.

“But countries (involved) are aware of the importance of moving the six-way talks forward,” he added.

North Korea claims it is ready to launch a rocket carrying a satellite into space in early April, but Japan, the United States and South Korea believe Pyongyang is actually planning to test a long-range ballistic missile.

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