THE country's chief nuclear negotiator is to meet senior Russian officials in Moscow amid signs of a new push to get Pyongyang to end its atomic programme.

Kim Kye-gwan, North Korea's first deputy foreign minister, will meet Russian deputy foreign ministers Vladimir Titov and Igor Morgulov on Thursday "as part of efforts to resume the six-party talks".

A spokesman for Russia's foreign ministry declined to comment.

The attack in the remote desert city of Hotan, a mainly Muslim Uighur area, comes two days after the region's deadliest unrest in four years that resulted in the deaths of 35 people.

China described the incident as a "terrorist attack".

Authorities are still counting the number of casualties and searching for suspects.

In a separate incident, some 200 people attempted to "incite trouble" at a major shopping area in Hotan but police defused the situation.