As Chinese President Xi Jinping readies for his visit to South Korea next month, Seoul's chief nuclear envoy Hwang Joon-kook and his Chinese counterpart Wu Dawei met Tuesday in Beijing, to discuss a resumption of the long-stalled six-party nuclear talks.
Speaking to reporters on the condition of anonymity, a high-ranking South Korean official said preventing further development of Pyongyang's nuclear capacity is the most important step for now.
The official added a complete denuclearization of North Korea, through dialogue, is the shared goal of Seoul, Washington and Beijing.
He said it is up to North Korea to demonstrate that it is sincere about denuclearization if it wants to return to the six-party talks, but maintained some flexibility by saying there are several ways show its sincerity.
The multilateral negotiations, aimed at ending Pyongyang's nuclear program, involves the two Koreas, the United States, China, Japan and Russia but has been at a standstill for more than five years.
The South Korean official left open the possibility of a new form of nuclear talks, but remained cautious by saying it is difficult even for the five parties to meet.
The diplomatic efforts to reignite the nuclear talks come ahead of President Xi's first official visit to South Korea, in late June or early July.
Experts say Seoul should make use of the Chinese leader's upcoming visit as an opportunity to outline what it wants from Pyongyang in exchange for restarting dialogue.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News.