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U.S. envoy on N. Korea to accompany Pompeo on trip to Pyongyang Sunday

All Headlines 10:55 October 03, 2018

By Lee Haye-ah

WASHINGTON, Oct. 2 (Yonhap) -- U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun said Tuesday he will make his first trip to Pyongyang this weekend since being appointed to lead denuclearization negotiations with the regime.

The State Department said earlier that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to Pyongyang on Sunday to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

"I'll be traveling with the secretary," Biegun told Yonhap at a diplomatic function in Washington.

The former Ford Motor executive was initially set to join Pompeo on a planned visit to Pyongyang in August. But that trip was called off by U.S. President Donald Trump over what he called a lack of progress in North Korea's denuclearization.

Biegun was appointed to the job in August amid a perceived impasse in negotiations to implement a denuclearization agreement reached by Trump and Kim at their historic summit in Singapore in June.

Kim committed to work toward "complete" denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in exchange for security guarantees from the United States.

In Pyongyang, the two sides are also expected to work to set up a second summit between the leaders.

Biegun declined to say whether he has plans to hold talks with the North Koreans in Vienna, Austria.

Pompeo said last month that the North Koreans had been invited to such a meeting in the wake of the third summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim.

The inter-Korean summit provided a boost to the stalled denuclearization talks.

This photo shows U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun in Seoul on Sept. 15, 2018. (Yonhap)


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