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Efforts to Resolve N. Korean Nuclear Issue to Intensify This Week Updated: 2011-04-25 12:00:00 KST

Efforts to Resolve N. Korean Nuclear Issue to Intensify This Week
The state of affairs on the Korean peninsula seem to be facing a crucial turning point with simultaneous diplomatic trips of envoys from regional powers scheduled to take place this week.
Former United States President Jimmy Carter is said to start a three-day visit to North Korea this coming Tuesday.
Carter and his delegation have arrived in Beijing on Saturday and are likely to meet with high-ranking officials there including Wang Jiarui and Wu Dawei, where they will be briefed on China and North Korea's shared stance on the six-party nuclear talk resumption.
Observers say Beijing will cast light on the pressing need to promptly reopen the multilateral disarmament roundtable.
And speculations are high as to whether Carter will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in Pyeongyang this time around.
Meanwhile, on the same day, China's chief nuclear negotiator Wu Dawei is scheduled to arrive in Seoul for talks with South Korean officials on the North's nuclear issue.
Here, it is believed officials will further discuss resuming the nuclear talks through the so-called three-step process, which starts with inter-Korean dialogue, followed by talks between Washington and Pyeongyang, and then lead to the reopening of the multinational negotiations.
However, some say talks might not go as smoothly as hoped because although Seoul and Beijing share the same goal of restarting the nuclear talks, their agendas seem to be very different.
Beijing is likely to attempt to persuade Seoul to lower its threshold while Seoul wants Pyeongyang to display sincere willingness to act responsibly for its provocations last year.
And over in Washington, foreign affairs and defense officials from Seoul will meet with their American counterparts on Tuesday for a strategic dialogue, where the three-step process to restarting the six-party talks is likely to be brought up.
Laah Hyun-kyung, Arirang News.
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