The United States' new chief emissary on North Korea, Stephen Bosworth, arrives in Beijing, Tuesday. His visit represents the beginning of the Obama administration's efforts to revitalize the stalled six-party denuclearization talks.
Beijing is Ambassador Bosworth's first stop on his first official visit to the region as chief American negotiator for the six-party talks.
Participants in these talks are: the two Korea's, China, Japan, Russia and the United States. Negotiations were most recently stalled by North Korea's refusal to allow nuclear material to be taken abroad for testing.
There is also concern that Pyongyang is preparing a missile launch.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters Tuesday that China hopes recent difficulties will be temporary.
Spokesman Qin says China hopes the six parties can remember the overall interest of denuclearization on the peninsula and that they can work together to bring the process to the next stage.
In early February, Bosworth visited North Korea while he was still dean of the Fletcher School of Diplomacy at Tufts University. After that visit, he said officials were willing to take steps toward nuclear disarmament, if their aid demands were met.
In Beijing, Bosworth will meet with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and China's emissary to the talks, Wu Dawei.
Bosworth will travel from Beijing to Tokyo, Thursday, and on to Seoul on Saturday. He will meet with Japanese and South Korean officials, as well as senior Russian officials who will be visiting Seoul.