China's vice premier to visit North, South Korea

AP News
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Posted: Oct 19, 2011 4:41 AM

A Chinese vice premier will visit North and South Korea in rare rapid succession as Beijing notes positive momentum is growing to restart stalled talks on North Korea's nuclear disarmament.

China's Foreign Ministry announced Wednesday that Vice Premier Li Keqiang will visit North Korea for three days next week and then go to South Korea for two days.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu says Li and leaders of the Koreas would discuss issues of mutual concern. Jiang says there has been progress in restarting the disarmament talks and that Beijing wants all sides to seize the opportunity.

China is a sponsor of the talks, which North Korea exited before exploding a second test nuclear device in 2009. Pyongyang called for a resumption of talks earlier this year.