New US Envoy for NKorea to Huddle with SKoreans, Japanese

New US Envoy for NKorea to Huddle with SKoreans, Japanese New US Envoy for NKorea to Huddle with SKoreans, Japanese U.S. special representative for North Korea Sung Kim (AP)

Sunday, 20 June 2021 07:54 PM

The United States' new top envoy for North Korea was scheduled to meet counterparts from South Korea and Japan during a visit to Seoul on Monday, amid an impasse in denuclearisation talks with Pyongyang.

U.S. special representative for North Korea Sung Kim is in South Korea for a five-day visit, with no word of any planned efforts to contact the North.

Kim, who doubles as ambassador to Indonesia, had back-to-back meetings scheduled with South Korea's top nuclear envoy, Noh Kyu-duk, as well as a trilateral session involving his Japanese counterpart, Takehiro Funakoshi.

Noh and Funakoshi were also scheduled to have a bilateral meeting to discuss North Korea.

Kim's appointment came after U.S. President Joe Biden's administration conducted a review of North Korea policy that concluded the United States would seek to find practical ways of inducing Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons.

In his first direct comments on Biden's administration, which took office in January, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un urged preparation for both dialog and confrontation with the United States, particularly the latter, state news agency KCNA said on Friday.

The United States said on Sunday it saw Kim's comments as an "interesting signal," but added that Washington was still waiting for direct communication from Pyongyang to start any talks relating to denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.

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