With Tensions Still High Over N. Korea, U.S.-China to Meet
Image Credit: Flickr - Creative Commons (Yeowatzup)

With Tensions Still High Over N. Korea, U.S.-China to Meet


Both China and U.S. officials will be crossing the Pacific over the next coming days to hold talks with their counterparts on how to move forward on North Korea. At this point it appears both countries hope to restart negotiations with Pyongyang possibly through the six-party talks format.

On Friday China’s Foreign Ministry announced that the country’s special envoy for North Korea, Wu Dawei, will travel to Washington, DC to hold consultations with his U.S. counterpart, Glyn T. Davies, the State Department’s special envoy on North Korea.

According to the New York Times, Wu has previous served as the chairman of the six party talks that include China, Russia, the U.S., Japan, South Korea, and North Korea. His trip to Washington comes at the invitation of Davies Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Friday, the New York Times reported.

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At roughly the same time Wu is traveling to the United States for consultations, Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey will be in China meeting with their counterparts. Neither official is traveling to China alone and are almost certain to discuss issues other than North Korea while in China. Still, the Korea crisis is certain to be on the agenda as all parties seek to a path towards restarting negotiations.

General Dempsey leaves later today for the region with the first stop in South Korea. From there he will head to China for four days before moving on to Japan. The primary purpose of Dempsey’s time in China is to expand mil-to-mil ties with the PLA. To that end Foreign Policy’s National Security site reports that the general’s time will be spent mainly with General Fang Fenghui, chief of the PLA’s general staff.

Meanwhile, the State Department has announced that Deputy Secretary Burns will leave for a nearly weeklong visit to Asia on Tuesday that will include a stop in China on Wednesday and Thursday to “meet with senior Chinese officials to discuss bilateral, regional, and global issues of mutual concern.” Like Dempsey, Burns will also travel to Japan and South Korea during this trip and it therefore seems almost certain that North Korea and the six-party talks will figure front and center of these discussions.

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