SEOUL, July 18 (Xinhua) -- Two top South Korean and Japanese nuclear representatives agreed Monday to further their efforts for talks between South Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) over the latter's nuclear program, the foreign ministry here said.
South Korea's chief nuclear envoy Wi Sung-lac met earlier in the day with his Japanese counterpart Shinsuke Sugiyama, in Seoul for a two-day trip, and reaffirmed their stance that dialogue involving South Korea and the DPRK should come before other multilateral negotiations begin, according to the ministry.
The two agreed to make additional efforts to hold inter-Korean nuclear talks, seen as a separate venue for discussing Pyongyang's nuclear program aside from the long-stalled six-party nuclear talks.
Pyongyang, which had declared the six-way aid-for-disarmament talks "dead" in 2009, expressed its wish to return to the negotiating table, but the regional consensus remained that the two sides should first hold dialogue and mend ties.
The six-party talks, which also involve China, the United States and Russia, were last held in December 2008.
Seoul, along with Beijing and Washington, has sought a three- step approach beginning with inter-Korean dialogue to reopening the disarmament talks, which will then lead to bilateral talks between Pyongyang and Washington.