The United States' chief negotiator to the six-nation talks aimed at dismantling North Korea's nuclear weapons is in China to discuss the resumption of the talks.
Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill arrived in Beijing Monday. He said he was there at the request of President Bush and Secretary of State Rice.
A State Department spokesman in Washington said Hill met Monday with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei to prepare for a return to the talks. Hill is expected to meet with other officials Tuesday.
The State Department said no date had yet been set for the talks, but the U.S. would like to see them begin as soon as possible.
North Korea agreed last month to return to the talks following its underground nuclear test.
The six-party talks include North and South Korea, China, the United States, Japan and Russia.
Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.