South Korea's nuclear envoy says the chances of North Korea returning to disarmament talks are slim.
Chun Yung-woo says North Korea has shown no signs of returning to the negotiating table.
Chun met with his Japanese counterpart, Kenichiro Sasae, in Seoul Thursday. They discussed the possibility that North Korea is preparing for a nuclear test, Chun says, but he gave no specific details.
North Korea's nuclear weapons program has been a growing source of concern for the international community. Recent speculation about a possible nuclear test has not been confirmed, but such reports have added urgency to the debate over Pyongyang's activities and motives.
South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun will travel to Beijing in October to discuss the situation with the Chinese president, Hu Jintao.
Mr. Roh's meeting in China will follow his scheduled trip to Washington next month for talks with President Bush.
The South Korean president's chief security adviser is traveling to the Chinese capital Thursday for talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing and other officials about Mr. Roh's visit and the North Korean nuclear crisis.
The United States, China, Russia, Japan and South Korea have tried to convince North Korea to abandon its nuclear program entirely, but there has been no advance in long-running negotiations on the issue since last November.
Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters