SHANGHAI (Reuters) - North Korea has proposed restarting stalled six-party talks on nuclear disarmament, without preconditions and as soon as possible, China’s official Xinhua news agency said on Saturday.
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi met with his North Korean counterpart Pak Ui Chun on the sidelines of a Southeast Asian security summit on the Indonesian island of Bali, it said.
During the bilateral meeting between the two countries, Pak said North Korea proposed restarting the talks unconditionally, Xinhua said, without elaborating.
Yang called the friendship China had with North Korea a “precious treasure,” saying the two should continue to maintain high-level exchanges and deepen economic and trade cooperation.
South and North Korea held high-level talks for the first time in two years in Indonesia on Friday.
The surprise meeting between their nuclear envoys, which was described as cordial and lasted about two hours, was the first such contact between the two Koreas since the last round of the six-way nuclear disarmament talks in 2008.
South Korea, the United States and China, which hosts the six-way forum, have agreed on a three-stage process for envoys from Seoul, Pyongyang and Washington to meet first before the negotiations can resume. Japan and Russia make up the rest of the participants.
North Korea walked away from the six-way nuclear talks more than two years ago, but last year called for their resumption.
Reporting by Jacqueline Wong; Editing by Daniel Magnowski