U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is in Seoul to discuss North Korea's nuclear program with South Korean officials.
Ms. Rice, who flew to Seoul Saturday from Japan, plans to meet President Roh Moo-hyun and other officials on Sunday to discuss how to persuade North Korea to return to nuclear disarmament talks.
Ms. Rice said in a speech earlier today in Tokyo that North Korea should return to the talks if -- in her words -- "it is serious about exploring the path forward that we and other parties have proposed."
She also called on Japan to end its ban on U.S. beef imports imposed in late 2003 after a case of mad cow disease was found in the United States.
But Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura would not say when beef imports would resume.
After leaving South Korea, Ms. Rice will wrap up her six-nation Asian tour with a visit to China.
Information for this report is provided by AP and AFP.