Discussions on the resumption of the six-way nuclear roundtable is believed to have dominated the second meeting between the North Korean and Chinese nuclear delegations in Beijing on Wednesday.
Following Tuesday's meeting, delegates from the two sides led by North Korea's top nuclear envoy, Kim Gye-gwan and China's six-party table chair Wu Dawei reportedly continued negotiating Pyeongyang's proposed terms for returning to the multilateral talks.
Beijing's diplomatic sources indicate that Kim likely reiterated Pyeongyang's demands for the easing of UN sanctions, also raising the issue of replacing the China-US-led armstice ending the Korean War with a peace agreement.
To this end, Wu is believed to have suggested discussing such issues within the six-party framework.
While the result of the dialogue has not yet been revealed, there is mounting speculation that Pyeongyang could soon return to the stalled disarmament-for-aid talks.
[Interview : Ma Zhaoxu, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson
] "We believe that significant progress will be made on the resumption of six-way talks and denuclearization on the Korean peninsula."
In Washington, State Department Spokesman Phillip Crowley announced that North Korea was "saying the right things" during Chinese official Wang Jiarui's recent visit to the North in which the North's leader Kim Jong-il reiterated his nation's pledge to disarm.
The US official however said that this sentiment has to be followed up with action such as returning to the negotiating table and recommitting to give up its nuclear ambitions.
The State Department added that the US and China view the North Korean situation "very similarly" and expressed hope that Beijing will convey a "very firm" message on the need to return to the China-chaired nuclear talks.
Meanwhile, Beijing appointed the former vice foreign minister Wu as its Special Representative on the Korean Peninsular Affairs, retaining his duties of overseeing issues related to the six-party nuclear talks.
Choi You-sun, Arirang News.