Chinese authorities say a senior diplomat visited North Korea this week to discuss the six-party talks on Pyongyang's nuclear program.
They say Wu Dawei, China's special representative for Korean Peninsula affairs, was in North Korea from Monday to Wednesday for talks with senior North Korean officials, including Foreign Minister Pak Ui Chun and lead nuclear envoy Kim Kye-gwan.
An official statement Thursday said the talks dealt with maintaining peace and security on the Korean peninsula and restarting the six-nation talks.
North Korea broke off the talks last year but more recently has said it would like to see them resume. Now it is South Korea and the United States that say the talks cannot resume until the North accepts responsibility for the sinking of a South Korean warship, the Cheonan, in March.
South Korea's Yonhap news agency quoted a South Korean foreign ministry official Thursday repeating that it is not the right time to resume the six-party talks.
Yonhap also noted that the Chinese official's trip to North Korea came as the United States and South Korea prepare for a new round of naval exercises in the Yellow Sea early next month.
The exercises were organized in response to the Cheonan sinking. But China has urged that they be called off, objecting to the U.S. naval presence so near its coast.
Some information for this report was provided by AP.