Japan plans to hold unofficial talks with North Korea when government officials from the two countries attend a meeting of their respective Red Cross societies in Shenyang, northeast China, on Monday.

Japanese officials hope informal talks will lead to the resumption of bilateral negotiations that have been suspended since the previous session in Ulan Bator in November 2012, a month before Prime Minister Shinzo Abe returned to power.

A senior North Korean diplomat on Saturday did not rule out the possibility of holding informal intergovernmental talks on the sidelines of the meeting between Red Cross officials.