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China's Delegate to Nuclear Talks Visits Seoul


China's top delegate to multilateral nuclear disarmament talks brushed aside questions as he arrived in Seoul Wednesday.

Beijing's Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei is here for three days of talks aimed at finding ways to bring North Korea back to the negotiating table.

Last month, North Korea indefinitely pulled out of talks aimed at ending its nuclear weapons programs. Pyongyang said it had already built nuclear weapons and intended to build more.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il later told a senior Chinese official his country might return to the talks if certain conditions were right. Neither Pyongyang nor Beijing has elaborated publicly on what those conditions might be.

South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-Moon said Wednesday he looks forward to any new insights Mr. Wu might have. Mr. Ban says South Korea hopes and expects that China will accelerate its efforts to bring Pyongyang back to talks.

China has held three rounds of unsuccessful nuclear talks involving Japan, Russia, the United States, and both Koreas. As North Korea's only major ally, China is widely viewed as having the most access to - and leverage over - North Korean leaders.

The United States is pushing to have North Korea dismantle its nuclear programs and comply with its earlier international commitments to be nuclear free. Pyongyang, however, says it must first receive economic aid and a security guarantee from Washington before it will freeze its weapons programs.

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