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U.S., China to discuss Korean tension reduction: State Dept.

WASHINGTON -- The United States and China next week will discuss ways to improve inter-Korean ties and reduce tensions on the Korean Peninsula, the State Department said Friday.

Speaking to reporters, spokesman Mark Toner expressed hope that the Security and Economic Dialogue between the U.S. and China, slated to be held in Washington Monday and Tuesday, will serve as a venue to discuss the tensions on the Korean Peninsula after the sinking of a South Korean warship, blamed on North Korea, and the North's attack on a South Korean border island last year.

"We're looking for ways that we can address North Korea's behavior and improve stability and peace in the region, and also improve relations between North Korea and the Republic of Korea," the spokesman said. "We value China's contribution as a six-party member. 

And it will be a good opportunity for us to compare thoughts and to think about the way forward."

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will represent the U.S. side at the annual high-level Sino-U.S. dialogue. (Yonhap News)