South Korean and US special envoys discuss North Korea’s nuclear issue

The videoconference came two weeks after a phone conversation between Noh Kyu Dok and Son Kim, during which they also discussed the issue

Korean Foreign Ministry’s special envoy on the North Korean nuclear issue Noh Gyu Dok discussed denuclearization and security issues in the region with his US counterpart Son Kim. The meeting took place via video conference, the South Korean foreign ministry said Thursday.

“The two sides noted that Seoul and Washington have maintained close coordination in the process of the new US administration’s policy review on North Korea. An in-depth exchange of views on ways to resume the denuclearisation process on the Korean Peninsula and establish lasting peace in the region has taken place,” the statement said. The two sides also agreed to continue consultations on the issue at all levels, the Foreign Ministry stressed.

The videoconference came two weeks after a phone conversation between Roh Gyu Dok and Son Kim, during which they also discussed the DPRK’s nuclear issue. Last week, the same issue was discussed in a trilateral format with Takehiro Funakoshi, head of the Asia and Oceania Department of the Japanese Foreign Ministry.

Previous US administration chief Donald Trump undertook an unprecedented personal involvement in talks with the DPRK to resolve the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula. In June 2018, the first-ever US-DPRK summit was held in Singapore and resulted in the adoption of a joint document. Pyongyang then pledged to denuclearise the Korean Peninsula in exchange for security guarantees from Washington.

A second such summit was held in Hanoi in February 2019. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un failed to reach an agreement after several meetings, including face-to-face meetings, and did not sign a joint document.

On 30 June 2019, a third meeting was held between Trump and Kim Jong-un; it took place in the demilitarised zone on the DPRK-Republic of Korea border. On 5 October 2019, US and DPRK representatives met at a working level in Sweden, but these talks ended inconclusively.

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