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(LEAD) U.S. nuke envoy visits Seoul ahead of inter-Korean summit

All Headlines 18:24 September 15, 2018

(ATTN: ADDS more details, photo in paras 4-5)

SEOUL, Sept. 15 (Yonhap) -- A U.S. top nuclear envoy visited South Korea on Saturday, days before the leaders of the two Koreas are set to hold a summit meeting next week.

Stephen Biegun arrived in Seoul, following his trips to Beijing and Tokyo where he met with his counterparts. He is to meet key officials in South Korea during his two-day stay here.

It is his second trip to Seoul in less than a week.

Biegun held a meeting with Lee Do-hoon, South Korea's top nuclear envoy, during which the U.S. negotiator reportedly briefed Lee on the outcome of his trip to China and Japan.

They are also known to have consulted on practical ways to realize denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, a key agenda item for the inter-Korean summit that will be held in Pyongyang from Tuesday to Thursday.

The former Ford Motor Co. executive made his first trip to Seoul early this week since his inauguration during which he paid a courtesy call to President Moon and held meetings with officials, including Unification Minster Cho Myoung-gyon and Seoul's top nuclear envoy Lee.

He came to Seoul again days before Moon and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are to meet in Pyongyang for their third summit meeting, which is expected to focus mostly on denuclearization and inter-Korean relations.

Biegun earlier said that a "tremendous opportunity" has been created by summit meetings among the leaders of the two Koreas and the U.S., and emphasized that it is necessary to "do everything we can to make the most of this moment of opportunity."

This photo, taken Sept. 11, 2018, shows South Korea's top nuclear envoy Lee Do-hoon (L) and Stephen Biegun, the new U.S. point man on North Korea. (Yonhap)


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