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Chinese official due in Seoul for strategic talks

 A senior Chinese official is due in Seoul this weekend for high-level bilateral strategic talks, sources said Wednesday.

    Yang Jiechi, China's state councilor who handles foreign affairs, is expected to arrive on Sunday for a three-day visit, according to sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity because a formal announcement has not yet been made. The visit had been anticipated as a follow-up to the South Korea-China summit agreement in June to establish a dialogue channel on security issues. 

   Yang is expected to meet with Kim Jang-soo, chief presidential national security advisor, and discuss regional issues including North Korea's nuclear threats and Japan's rightward policy moves.

   The two countries are parties to the six-nation forum aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear development.  The United States, Japan and Russia are the other three members of the forum, which was last held in December 2008. Attempts to revive the talks were foiled by North Korea's nuclear test and rocket launch -- the latter which was billed as a disguised missile test.

   China, the host of the six-nation talks, has been trying to reassemble the forum, sending its nuclear envoy on consultations to member countries. Seoul and Washington are demanding that Pyongyang prove its sincerity toward denuclearization before the talks resume. (Yonhap News)


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