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S. Korea, U.S. discuss N. Korea issue in 'working group'

Diplomacy 11:11 December 07, 2018

SEOUL, Dec. 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korean and U.S. officials handling the North Korea issue held a working-level videoconference Friday to coordinate their policy and strategy.

In the morning session, the two sides had "comprehensive discussions" on various issues related to inter-Korean relations and North Korea-U.S. dialogue, a South Korean foreign ministry official said.

It came amid keen interest over when North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will travel to Seoul. The Moon Jae-in administration hopes that Kim will keep his promise before the end of this year, facilitating his second summit with President Donald Trump.

An image illustrating South Korea-U.S. working group consultations on North Korea (Yonhap)

The allies launched the working group on Nov. 20 for "regular, systemic and formal" communication on North Korea policy, amid speculation about a possible rift between them on an approach toward Pyongyang.

The working group is co-headed by Lee Do-hoon, Seoul's special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Stephen Biegun, Washington's special representative for North Korea at the State Department.

But Lee and Biegun did not join the videoconference, which was held by working-level officials, according to a diplomatic source.

They plan to meet once a month for the working group consultations.

lcd@yna.co.kr
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