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China, N. Korea hold dialogue amid North's call for talks with U.S.


China and North Korea held strategic talks in Beijing on Wednesday amid Pyongyang's call for direct talks with the United States, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui and North Korean First Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan exchanged views on bilateral relations and the situation on the Korean Peninsula, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a press conference.

Kim, who arrived in Beijing on Tuesday, also met with Wu Dawei, China's special representative for Korean Peninsula affairs, Hua said.

Details of the dialogue between the foreign ministries of the two countries have not been released.

Kim, Pyongyang's point man on nuclear issues and policy toward the United States, is, however, believed to have asked China to help North Korea arrange high-level talks with Washington.

On Sunday, North Korea proposed high-level nuclear and security talks with the United States in an apparent attempt to defuse tensions on the peninsula ahead of the 60th anniversary of the end of the 1950-1953 Korean War in late July.

The China-North Korea dialogue precedes a visit to Beijing by South Korean President Park Geun Hye later this month for a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.