Park asks China to persuade N. Korea to hold talks with S. Korea

South Korean President Park Geun Hye told a former veteran Chinese diplomat Friday that South Korea wants China to persuade North Korea to hold talks with it "with sincerity," according to a statement issued by South Korea's presidential press office.

At a meeting with former Chinese State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan, Park said South Korea "doesn't want talks for the sake of talks with North Korea, but talks with sincerity."

Her remarks were made after North Korea called off inter-Korean governmental talks planned for this week that would have been the first in six years.

The sides failed to resolve differences over the level of chief delegates for the high-level talks widely expected to have sought a thaw in bilateral ties marked by North Korean war threats in recent months.

Park is scheduled to make a state visit to China for a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping on June 27.

Meanwhile, Tang told Park that North Korea's nuclear program and nuclear tests are not helpful for relations with China and China has told North Korea it does not recognize the North as a nuclear state, the statement said.

Tang also said China expects South and North Korea to have "new exchanges and cooperation."

Tang, at the invitation of South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung Se, arrived in Seoul on Wednesday for a five-day visit.

He is also to meet with Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl Jae and Foreign Minister Yun.