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S. Korea, China to hold high-level talks on N. Korea

All Headlines 10:17 December 25, 2011

SEOUL, Dec. 25 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and China will hold high-level talks in Seoul this week to discuss the situation on the Korean Peninsula and North Korea's nuclear program following the death of its leader Kim Jong-il, the foreign ministry here said Sunday.

The one-day annual meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, will be led by South Korean First Vice Minister Park Suk-hwan and his Chinese counterpart Zhang Zhijun, the ministry said.

This year's meeting, the first to be held after Kim's abrupt death last week, is expected to touch on future plans regarding the communist state and discuss how to continue diplomatic efforts to revive the six-party talks on Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program, according to officials.

The death of the secretive leader put a brake on a flurry of renewed diplomatic efforts to resume the long-stalled six-party talks, which have been dormant since the last session in late 2008. The nuclear talks involve the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the U.S.

Before Kim's demise, North Korea had been expected to announce that it would suspend its uranium enrichment program and accept U.N. nuclear monitors in exchange for food aid. Such North Korean moves are preconditions set by the U.S. and South Korea for resuming broader six-party talks.

ejkim@yna.co.kr
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