Future UN Head Holds Talks with China on North Korea

The United Nations Secretary General-elect Ban Ki-moon has held talks in China to debate what further action should be taken over North Korea's nuclear tests.

|PIC1|Ban, who is currently South Korea's foreign minister, met President Hu Jintao as well as China's special envoy to North Korea, Tang Jiaxuan. It was "agreed on the need to put pressure on North Korea", a South Korean foreign ministry official told news agency AP.

South Korean and Chinese officials pledged to continue efforts to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue peacefully, according to South Korean TV station YTV.

Mr Tang also said, "Related parties should keep calm and restrained in dealing with the issue to prevent the conflict from escalating.

"They should safeguard and promote the process of the six-party talks and guide the situation towards the peaceful settlement of the issue through dialogue and making the peninsula nuclear free," according to the China Daily.

Hu praised Ban's appointment as the UN head, pointing out that it was "the first time in 35 years that an Asian has been elected to the post".

"I believe... you (Ban) will be able to play a greater role in the maintenance of world peace and common development," he told.

Ban, who will formally take up his role in January 2007 from Kofi Annan, said, "I will make my best efforts on the issue of reform of the UN and other issues concerning the UN."

Ban had earlier in the week emphasised his determination to resolve the situation in North Korea - and revealed plans to appoint a special UN envoy to the country.

Commentators have all insisted that Ban will need the full co-operation of countries like China to succeed in his plans. Beijing is North Korea's closest ally and a key supplier of aid and trade to the secretive regime.

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