US steps up diplomacy to cool tensions on Korean peninsula

December 16, 2010 10:56


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BEIJING — New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson arrived in North Korea on Thursday as part of stepped-up US diplomacy to cool tensions on the Korean peninsula. The governor, a frequent unofficial US envoy to the North, said he expects to be given a message by officials in Pyongyang.

Richardson's visit to Pyongyang came shortly before talks in the Chinese capital between US Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg and Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo, Beijing's top foreign policy official. China's Xinhua News Agency confirmed his arrival from Pyongyang.

Richardson's private trip comes amid increased fears of war on the divided Korean peninsula since North Korean bombarded a South Korean front-line island last month, killing four people.

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