Pallavi Aiyar

Pyongyang visit not in vain: Beijing envoy

Beijing: China and the United States presented a united front on Friday regarding the way forward on solving the North Korean impasse.

Following talks between U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxin in Beijing, both sides said they agreed to attempt to restart the six-party talks and called on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to return unconditionally to the negotiating table. "We hope all relevant parties will keep a cool-headed, adopt a prudent and responsible attitude and adhere to dialogue," Mr. Li told reporters following his one-hour-long talks with Ms. Rice.

"China would like to work more closely with relevant parties to break the stalemate and resume the stalled six-party talks," he said.

The talks, which include the U.S., the two Koreas, host China, Japan and Russia, have been stalled since late 2005. Ms. Rice's trip to Beijing comes a day after a Chinese envoy, State Councillor Tang Jiaxuan, visited Pyongyang to give North Korean leader Kim Jong-il a personal message from Chinese President Hu Jintao.

"Fortunately, my visit this time has not been in vain," Mr. Tang said at the opening of his meeting with Ms. Rice. Reporters were then ushered out of the room.