South Korea's top six-party nuclear envoy Lim Sung-nam arrived in Beijing on Thursday, for talks with his Chinese counterpart Wu Dawei.
The talks come days after news of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's death.
[Interview : Lim Sung-nam, S. Korean nuclear envoy] "I plan to deeply discuss the state of affairs on the Korean Peninsula and ways to resume the six-party talks with China, which is the chair country and our strategic cooperative partner."
The six-nation forum involving the two Koreas, the US, China, Russia and Japan have been stalled for three years.
Following two rounds of inter-Korean negotiations and two rounds of talks between the North and the US, it was highly anticipated that Washington and Pyeongyang would meet again this week, further opening doors to a possible resumption of six-party talks early next year.
It had also been speculated the US and the North had struck a deal that would have Pyeongyang giving up its nuclear programs, in return for a resumption of food aid from Washington.
The US State Department this week said it has had continued contact with the North even after Kim's death.
China, as of late, has been highlighting its strong alliance with North Korea and didn't waste time expressing support for Kim Jong-un as the successor.
With all six-party members actively exercising diplomacy to prevent the North Korean regime from a collapse, they have seemingly accepted the new leadership in Pyeongyang.
South Korea, meanwhile, may need to reconsider its approach toward North Korea, as the North still hasn't claimed responsibility for its military attacks on the South last year.
Choi You-sun, Arirang News.