The United States' envoy for policy on North Korea says he hopes "serious negotiations" over Pyongyang's nuclear program will start soon.
Stephen Bosworth, who arrived today in Seoul, was scheduled to meet with South Korean foreign ministry officials before heading to China and Japan for further consultations on Korean issues.
Concerns have been rising since North Korea shelled a South Korean island in November, killing four people, and claimed to have previously unknown uranium-enrichment facility.
Seoul and Pyongyang have since suggested they could have diplomatic talks.
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is scheduled to visit Seoul next week.
compiled from agency reports