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China, Japan meet over NKorea: Japanese embassy

Japan's top nuclear negotiator met with his Chinese counterpart in Beijing on Monday for talks expected to focus on an imminent rocket launch by North Korea, the Japanese embassy told AFP.

world Updated: Mar 23, 2009 10:25 IST

Japan's top nuclear negotiator met with his Chinese counterpart in Beijing on Monday for talks expected to focus on an imminent rocket launch by North Korea, the Japanese embassy told AFP.

"Akitaka Saiki met with Wu Dawei (China's vice foreign minister) on Monday morning at the foreign ministry," a spokesman for the Japanese embassy, who asked not to be named, said on Monday.

He said the meeting was expected to have focused on Pyongyang's threatened rocket launch that has caused global concern, and on six-nation talks stalled since December aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear activities.

"But we have still received no information (about the discussions)," the spokesman said.

The meeting comes amid mounting global concern following North Korea's announcement it would launch a communications satellite between April 4 and 8.

The United States, Japan and other allies believe Pyongyang is actually testing a missile that could, in theory, reach Alaska.

A top US general last week said the United States could shoot down the projectile if it was determined to be a ballistic missile, and Japan also said it would shoot down any rocket heading for its territory.

North Korea has resisted pressure to call off the launch and warned that any attempt to down the craft would be regarded as an act of war.

China, meanwhile, has called on all sides to exercise restraint and return to the stalled six-nation nuclear talks, which group China, the United States, North and South Korea, Japan and Russia.