Pyongyang's top nuclear envoy arrived in Beijing on Tuesday ahead of the first nuclear talks with the United States since the death of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il.
First Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan, who did not speak at the Beijing airport, is due to meet U.S. envoy Glyn Davies in Beijing on Thursday.
It will be the third round of such talks since July but the first since Kim's death in December. The talks are aimed at restarting six-nation aid-for-disarmament negotiations on North Korea's nuclear program.
The talks are being watched for signals about how North Korea's young new leader Kim Jong Un will handle the long-running nuclear standoff.
North Korea walked away from the talks in 2009.