US official in China for Korean Peninsula solutions

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Beijing, Jan.6 (ANI): US Special Representative for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea Stephen Bosworth is in Chinese capital Beijing as part of a flurry of diplomatic activity to defuse tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Bosworth has already met South Korean officials in Seoul before heading to China.

He is expected to meet with China's top nuclear negotiator Wu Dawei on Thursday and wrap up his Asian tour with a visit to Tokyo the same day, The China Daily reports.

While in Seoul, he expressed hopes that serious negotiations on North Korea would start soon, but didn't elaborate.

He said he would continue to coordinate closely with China.

Tension on the Korean Peninsula has spiked to some of its highest levels since the 1950-53 Korean War after an exchange of artillery fire between the two Koreas in November and threats of war.

In Washington, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi discussed the situation on the Korean Peninsula with US National Security Adviser Tom Donilon in a White House meeting on Tuesday.

Yang also met US President Barack Obama to discuss bilateral relations and an upcoming state visit to the United States by President Hu Jintao later this month.

Yang also met US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday.

China and the US must get parties back to talks and present ways to soothe tension, Seoul's JoongAng Daily said.

"A war in the region would be catastrophic for not only the two Koreas, but ... the US and China," it said in an editorial.

Scott Snyder, a US expert on Korean affairs with the Asia Foundation, said Bosworth is consulting with other parties in the context of the Sino-US discussions that will occur in the run-up to Hu's visit to Washington.

"I think the hope is that strengthened Sino-US consultations can serve to cap any potential escalation in inter-Korean relations, since initial consultations already appear to have had such an effect," he told China Daily. (ANI)

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