US in contact with Pyongyang to revive nuclear talks: envoy

By Park Han-na
  • Published : Jun 18, 2019 - 15:35
  • Updated : Jun 20, 2019 - 15:12

The US is in contact with North Korea in various ways, South Korea’s chief nuclear negotiator Lee Do-hoon said Tuesday, raising hopes for the resumption of stalled nuclear talks between the two countries.

“I believe various forms of contact are being made. I can tell you that we’re going in the direction where we can revive the momentum for dialogue,” he told reporters at Incheon Airport before boarding a plane bound for Washington. 

Lee Do-hoon, special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, speaks to reporters at Incheon Airport on Tuesday. (Yonhap)

US President Donald Trump has hinted at the possibility of another summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un after receiving a letter from Kim last week.

“I think that something will happen that’s going to be very positive,” Trump said on June 11.

Lee, special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said he would discuss ways to restart US-North Korea talks with his counterpart, Stephen Biegun, US special representative for North Korea, and other authorities at the State Department and National Security Council.

“The restart of denuclearization talks between the US and North Korea is needed more than ever. We share that understanding and we will do our best to get the talks restarted by putting together all diplomatic efforts possible,” he said.

This month will be significant for Seoul’s diplomacy, he said, as Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Trump will visit North and South Korea, respectively.

Lee and Biegun will deliver a keynote speech at the Atlantic Council-East Asia Foundation Strategic Dialogue on Wednesday. The South Korean envoy will stay in Washington till Friday.

Upon returning from Moscow, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said there were “good signs” in efforts for the resumption of nuclear talks.

Trump will travel to South Korea to meet President Moon Jae-in after the G-20 summit in Japan from June 28-29. The date of his visit has not been announced.

According to Chinese broadcaster CCTV on Monday, the Chinese president will make a two-day visit to North Korea from Thursday to discuss the problems facing the Korean Peninsula.

By Park Han-na (