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S. Korean chief nuke envoy in Japan to discuss N. Korea

Chief nuclear envoys of South Korea and Japan are to meet in Tokyo Wednesday to discuss ways to resume the suspended dialogue with North Korea over its ongoing nuclear ambitions.

Before heading to Japan Tuesday, Seoul’s chief envoy Wi Sung-lac said he plans to share views with his counterpart Shinsuke Sugiyama on whether changes must be made to the existing strategy to get Pyongyang to talk with Seoul before rejoining larger-scale peace talks with regional powers.

“With North Korea turning tough against South Korea recently, we feel the need to reexamine the strategy,” Wi said.

As South Korea has shown a hard-nosed attitude toward mending inter-Korean ties, North Korea has ratcheted up hostile rhetoric against Seoul recently.

At China’s suggestion, parties to the stalled six-nation dialogue had been viewing the strategy of holding inter-Korean nuclear talks as the first step on the way to the resumption of full-scale denuclearization negotiations. The six-way talks, involving the two Koreas, the U.S., China, Japan and Russia, have been stalled since 2008.

“It is important for South Korea, the U.S. and Japan to maintain strong cooperation over how to resume the six-party talks,” said Wi.

Wi is to return to Seoul later Wednesday.

By Shin Hae-in (hayney@heraldcorp.com)
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