WASHINGTON - US Special Representative for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) policy Stephen Bosworth will visit South Korea, China, and Japan from January 3-7.
"Ambassador Bosworth will arrive in Seoul January 4 and travel to Beijing on January 5," the US State Department said in a statement. "He will continue to Tokyo on January 6. In all three cities, he will meet with senior government officials to discuss next steps on the Korean Peninsula."
"Special envoy for six-party talks Ambassador Sung Kim will accompany Ambassador Bosworth to Seoul and Beijing," the department said.
The DPRK's three leading newspapers issued a joint New Year editorial on Saturday, stressing the country's will to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.
The DPRK is "consistent in its stand and will to achieve peace in Northeast Asia and the denuclearization of the whole of the Korean peninsula," said the editorial jointly issued by Rodong Sinmun, Joson Inmingun and Chongnyon Jonwi.
The editorial said the confrontation between the North and South should be defused as early as possible and the DPRK would launch a more determined campaign to improve inter-Korean relations and reunify the country under the slogan "Let all Koreans in the North, South and abroad join efforts and bring a new phase of independent reunification."
China on Thursday expressed "sincere hope and support" for dialogue between the two sides on the Korean Peninsula.
There have been rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula after the exchange of artillery fire last month between DPRK and South Korea forces.