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Chinese official visits North Korea|
Thursday, October 19, 2006 02:15 IST
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WASHINGTON: The United States said on Wednesday that a senior Chinese official was visiting North Korea amid a flurry of diplomacy and fears Pyongyang may conduct another nuclear test.
The United States and China have both warned North Korea against exploding another atom bomb while US media reported suspicious movement at a test site.
The US government was notified in advance of the trip and confirmed Japanese news reports of the high-level mission.
Beijing, North Korea's strongest ally, has been tight-lipped.
Questioned during a news briefing about the reported presence of Chinese State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan in North Korea, Tom Casey, a State Department spokesman, replied: "I do understand that he is, as you say, either in the process of going, or perhaps there already. I'd certainly leave it up to the Chinese government to report back on his meetings."
The senior Chinese diplomat, who held talks with US President George W. Bush in Washington last week, is believed to be in the communist state, Jiji Press and Kyodo News said on Wednesday, quoting unnamed sources in Beijing.
"My understanding is that his trip would be part of Chinese efforts to convince the North Koreans to comply with (UN) Resolution 1718, as well as the other relevant Security Council measures that are out there," Casey added.