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Moon's security adviser to visit U.S. with 'undisclosed' message from N. Korea

All Headlines 09:54 March 07, 2018

SEOUL, March 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in's top security adviser will head to the United States this week, officials from the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said Wednesday, to brief U.S. officials on the outcome of his recent trip to North Korea that he earlier said included an undisclosed message from the communist state.

Chung Eui-yong, the head of the National Security Office, will embark on a two-day trip to Washington on Thursday, the officials said, asking not to be identified.

The scheduled trip follows Chung's two-day visit to Pyongyang that ended Tuesday, during which he and four other special envoys of Moon held unprecedented talks and a dinner with the North's reclusive leader, Kim Jong-un.

Moon's envoys included Suh Hoon, head of Seoul's top spy agency, the National Intelligence Service. Suh will be accompanying the security adviser on his U.S. trip, according to Cheong Wa Dae.

Their trip to Pyongyang ended with what many experts here have called "exceptional" and unprecedented concessions from the communist state.

Chung Eui-yong (at podium) speaks in a press conference, held at Seoul's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae on March 6, 2018, on the outcome of his two-day trip to North Korea as a special envoy of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, during which he and Moon's four other envoys (left) held an unprecedented meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The envoys are (from L) Yun Kun-young, a Cheong Wa Dae official, Kim Sang-gyun, a senior director fo the National Intelligence Service (NIS), Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung and NIS chief Suh Hoon. (Yonhap)

In a press conference held Tuesday, Chung said the North Korean leader clearly expressed his country's willingness to talk with Washington, while quoting Kim as saying the North is also willing to put the denuclearization issue on the dialogue table with the U.S.

U.S. President Donald Trump has said he believes the North was "sincere."

Further boosting the prospects of dialogue between the U.S. and North Korea, Chung said he carried an additional message from the North for the U.S.

"We cannot reveal everything to the media but we do have additional views of North Korea we will relay to the United States when we visit the U.S.," he told reporters earlier.

From the start, Chung said the main objective of his trip to the North was to persuade the North to talk with the U.S.

The move followed recent rapprochement between the two Koreas afforded by the resumption of their bilateral talks, after more than two years, to discuss the North's participation in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games held here in South Korea.

Moon has repeatedly underscored the importance of the latest improvement in inter-Korean relations, calling it a hard-earned and possibly the last chance to restart multilateral negotiations on ending the North's nuclear ambition.

Following their trip to the U.S., Chung will visit China and Russia and Suh Japan to directly explain the outcome of their trip to North Korea.

The four countries are involved in the so-called six-party nuclear talks aimed at ridding the North of nuclear weapons.

The talks, also attended by the two Koreas, have been stalled since late 2008.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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