China's foreign minister has postponed a planned trip to South Korea, the government in Seoul said on Thursday, amid high tensions on the peninsula after North Korea's deadly shelling of a southern island.
Yang Jiechi was scheduled to arrive on Friday for talks on bilateral ties and regional issues such as efforts to restart six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear disarmament.
But the visit was postponed because of a Chinese "scheduling" problem, South Korea's foreign ministry said in a statement. The two sides will consult later to reschedule the trip, it said.
China, the North's sole major ally, has not joined in worldwide condemnation of Pyongyang for Tuesday's attack on a South Korean border island which killed four people.
Speaking on Wednesday in Moscow, Premier Wen Jiabao said that Beijing opposed "any provocative military acts" on the Korean peninsula and urged all sides to show restraint.
The United States and South Korea have announced a four-day joint naval exercise in the Yellow Sea starting on Sunday that will include a US aircraft carrier.
Beijing has previously voiced strong opposition to the presence of a US carrier in the Yellow Sea, which lies between northern China and the Korean peninsula.