Clinton to Meet South Korea, Japan Ministers on Korea

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will host talks in Washington next week with foreign ministers from South Korea and Japan on tensions with North Korea.

North Korea on Nov. 23 shelled a South Korean fishing community and military base, killing four people including two civilian construction workers.

On Dec. 6, Clinton, South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung Hwan and Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara will “discuss the recent developments on the Korean peninsula and their impact on regional security,” the State Department announced today.

China, which isn’t taking part in the three-way meeting, renewed calls for calm and restraint on the Korean peninsula as a U.S. aircraft carrier patrolled the Yellow Sea with the South Korean navy, and a top North Korean official, Choe Thae Bok, met in Beijing with a member of China’s legislature.

In Washington, Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, called on China to “step up” pressure on North Korea to end attacks on the South and curb its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

On Nov. 28, China proposed that “emergency” talks to address the increasing tensions on the Korean peninsula be held early next month in Beijing. They would involve China, Japan, Russia, South Korea, North Korea and the U.S.. The group met several times to discuss North Korea’s nuclear program until negotiations came to a halt after the government in Pyongyang launched a rocket in April 2009.

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