US: China worried by disruption in Korean talks

By the Associated Press | June 10, 2011 | 1:59 AM EDT

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell listens to South Korean chief nuclear envoy Wi Sung-lac, not in the photo, during their meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, June 10, 2011. (AP Photo/Jo Yong-hak, Pool)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A senior U.S. diplomat says that China is worried and surprised by the latest disruption in talks between the two Koreas and hopes to see improvement in their ties.

North Korea said late last month it would stop talking with South Korea, days after North Korean leader Kim Jong Il wrapped up a secrecy-shrouded trip to China, his country's last major ally.

Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell told reporters in Seoul Friday that Beijing officials say North Korea didn't inform them of the decision on talks when Kim was in China.

Campbell visited China before coming to South Korea.

He says China is concerned and a "little surprised" by the disruption in talks and "very much" wants to see improvement in dialogue.