Washington's No. 2 diplomat huddled with South Korean officials Wednesday to discuss North Korea amid a flurry of diplomacy to get the communist regime to return to disarmament talks.
Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg is on an Asian tour that has included stops in Vietnam, Malaysia and China. North Korea is a key topic during this trip, he said.
Steinberg met South Korean presidential security adviser Kim Sung-hwan and chief nuclear envoy Wi Sung-lac on Wednesday morning. He later paid a courtesy call to newly appointed Prime Minister Chung Un-chan.
Steinberg's visit comes days before Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is to travel to Pyongyang. China, North Korea's biggest source of economic aid and diplomatic support, could be key in pushing for the resumption of nuclear disarmament talks involving the two Koreas, the US, China, Russia and Japan.