Wang Jiarui in Washington to discuss issues surrounding Korean peninsulaUpdated: 2014-05-07 18:01:39 (KST)
The director of the international department of China's Central Committee of the Communist Party held talks with U.S. Secretary John Kerry at the Department of State on Tuesday, local time.
Wang Jiarui, considered a messenger between China and North Korea, is believed to have discussed issues related to the Korean peninsula with Kerry, namely the North Korean nuclear threat and a possible resumption of the six-party talks.
U.S. diplomatic sources note that Wang's visit to Washington is rare and add that he is scheduled to meet with key U.S. diplomatic figures during his stay.
It represents the latest development in a bid to curb North Korea's nuclear development.
Last month, China's respresentative to the six-party denuclearization talks Wu Dawei met with his U.S. counterpart Glyn Davies in Washington and New York, although they failed to come up with a concrete plan to advance talks.
The sense of urgency is spurred by increased activity at North Korea's Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site.
Recent satellite images show that North Korea has sealed a nuclear tunnel shaft there, suggesting it could conduct a fourth nuclear test at any given time.
Most experts agree that Pyongyang is capable of carrying out a test in the near future, but South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff is trying to downplay the speculation.
It says Pyongyang has opened and sealed the tunnel numerous times before and that the move doesn't necessarily mean a test is imminent, but added that it is keeping a close watch on the situation regardless.
North Korea has conducted three previous nuclear tests, most recently in February of last year.
Kim Hyun-bin, Arirang News.
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