Denuclearization essential to any future U.S.-N. Korea talks: U.N.

If senior level talks between Pyongyang and Washington were to be held -- as the North recently proposed -- then denuclearization must be a key component, a U.N. spokesman said Monday.

"For any dialogue to be meaningful, it should be firmly anchored on the common goal of verifiable denuclearization of the Korean peninsula," U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon's spokesman Eduardo Del Buey said.

Ban also stressed the importance of inter-Korean dialogue "which is key to diffusing tensions on the Korean Peninsula and ensuring durable peace and security in the region," according to Del Buey.

The spokesman also said that the U.N. chief is on route to China where he will be officially visiting the country from Tuesday to Friday and is slated to meet with President Xi Jinping and other senior officials.

North Korea's National Defense Commission on Sunday called for

unconditional high-level dialogue with the United States to relax tensions on the Korean Peninsula, the Korean Central News Agency reported.

"We propose senior-level talks between the authorities of the DPRK and the U.S. to defuse tensions on the Korean Peninsula and ensure peace and security in the region," according to a "crucial statement" issued by the spokesman for the commission.

The DPRK stands for North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. The statement was issued prior to the 60th anniversary of the Korean War cease-fire on July 27.