U.S. says it will continue close coordination with China as FM visits N.K.

WASHINGTON-- The United States will continue to coordinate closely with China, the State Department said Monday following reports of the top Chinese diplomat's arrival in North Korea.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is scheduled to visit Pyongyang through Wednesday at the invitation of his North Korean counterpart, Ri Yong-ho.

There is speculation the two sides may discuss a possible visit to China by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

"We have seen reports of State Councilor Wang's visit to the DPRK," a State Department official told Yonhap News Agency on condition of anonymity. DPRK is the acronym for North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"We will continue to closely coordinate with allies and partners, and other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, including China," the official added, without elaborating.

Wang's visit comes as North Korea has ramped up criticism of the U.S. and questioned the prospects for resuming denuclearization talks.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Kim agreed during their June 30 meeting at the inter-Korean border to restart negotiations within several weeks, but they have yet to happen.

China, North Korea's only major ally and economic benefactor, is seen as wielding considerable influence over Pyongyang, including through its enforcement of U.N. Security Council sanctions on the regime.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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