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Seoul's envoy on N. Korean nukes to fly to Beijing for talks

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

SEOUL, Nov. 12 (Yonhap) -- The top South Korean negotiator on the North Korean nuclear issue will fly to Beijing this week for talks with his Chinese counterpart about the resumption of the six-party forum aimed at ending Pyongyang's atomic weapons program, the foreign ministry said Tuesday.

Cho Tae-yong is scheduled to visit Beijing on Wednesday and Thursday, and meet with Wu Dawei, China's special representative for Korean Peninsula Affairs, foreign ministry spokesman Cho Tai-yong said in a briefing.

"During the meeting, Cho will discuss various issues on North Korea and its nuclear issues as well as future plans," Cho said. "Such discussion is aimed at finding ways to bring in substantial progress in the North Korean nuclear issue."

Cho's visit to China follows his trip to Washington last week in which the top negotiator held talks with his United States counterpart, Glyn Davies, as well as Junichi Ihara, the Japanese negotiator.

Wu flew to Pyongyang last week, a trip that closely followed the Chinese official's trip to Washington in late October and met his North Korean counterpart.

Such back-to-back visits represent a flurry of diplomatic efforts to restart the disarmament dialogue that has been stalled since late 2008. Russia is the other nation involved in the six-way forum.

Despite such efforts, however, the prospect of resuming the six-party talks is widely seen as being murky, with the U.S. repeating its demand that the North first take sincere steps toward denuclearization in order to have the dialogue restarted. Pyongyang has repeatedly denounced such a demand.

In the forthcoming meeting this week, the South Korean and Chinese officials are expected to work toward coordinating such gaps.

"Cho is expected to assess the latest issues on the North Korean nuclear matter and discuss in-depth ways to generate tangible progress in the meeting with Wu," the spokesman said.

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