China's chief nuclear envoy arrived in Washington Monday to discuss ways to revive the six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear program, a U.S. government official confirmed.
Wu Dawei, special representative for Korean Peninsula affairs, began two-day consultations with Glyn Davies, the U.S. special representative for North Korea, and other senior diplomats, the official told Yonhap News Agency on background.
Wu rarely travels to the U.S. but the current trip is his second in half a year.
His trip this time represents Beijing's active efforts to resume the six-way talks and it may signal some progress.
China is the host of the now-stalled talks also involving South Korea, Japan and Russia.
The U.S. has stated that it agrees with China on the "fundamental importance of a denuclearized North Korea."
But the global powers are not exactly on the same page on the terms of resuming dialogue.
The North especially has called for the reopening of the six-way talks, last held in December 2008, without attaching any conditions. The U.S. and South Korea demand the reclusive communist nation take steps to prove its seriousness on denuclearization.
A diplomatic source here said there have been some positive signs regarding efforts to reinvigorate the negotiations.
"Through a series of high-level consultations with the U.S. and South Korea, China seems to better understand their position on the North Korea issue. Wu's visit is seen as part of serious efforts based on such understanding," the source said, requesting anonymity.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who met with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in September, said at that time he was confident of reaching a "new, important" deal with the U.S. on restarting the six-party talks.
As part of brisk diplomatic activities among relevant nations, meanwhile, South Korea's top nuclear interlocutor, Cho Tae-yong, plans to visit Washington in early November, another source said.
Last week, Wu met with his Russian counterpart, Igor Morgulov, in Beijing for consultations on North Korea. (Yonhap News)