Powell to visit China next week
US Secretary of State Colin Powell will visit Japan, China and South Korea beginning from next week for talks on the nuclear issue of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the State Department said Saturday.
Powell will hold discussions with senior officials in the three countries "on bilateral matters, regional security and stability, and issues such as the global war on terrorism, Iraq, North Korea and the six-party talks," the State Department said in a statement.
Powell is to leave Washington for the three-nation tour on Friday, the statement said.
The DPRK nuclear issue and the six-party talks are expected to be top priorities of Powell's three-nation tour as the six-party talks have been stalled since September.
The United States, China, Japan and South Korea, along with Russia and the DPRK, are involved in the six-party talks aiming at realizing the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
The United States has said that it is ready to go to the six-party talks "at an early date" despite the fact that the scheduled fourth round of six-party talks failed to take place in September.
The United States has also promised that it is still committed to the six-party process.
Three rounds of the six-party talks, hosted by China, have been held to try
to end the nuclear confrontation between the DPRK and the United States.