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S. Korea, U.S. to hold working group session on N. Korea Thursday

North Korea 15:13 January 16, 2019

SEOUL, Jan. 16 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and the United States will hold a working group session on North Korea this week to exchange views on cross-border issues, including reunions of war-torn families, the unification ministry said Wednesday.

The allies will hold a video conference Thursday, where they are expected to discuss follow-ups on issues that were dealt with during their face-to-face meeting in Seoul last month.

They are expected to discuss such issues as Seoul's planned provision of the antiviral medication Tamiflu to North Korea and video reunions for families separated by the Korean War, which the leaders of the Koreas agreed to hold during their September summit.

"We hope issues about the (video reunions) will be wrapped up well (during the meeting)," Baik Tae-hyun, the ministry's spokesperson, told a regular press briefing, when asked whether sanctions related to the event will be included in the discussions.

A ministry official earlier said that such video reunions require image-relaying equipment, which could be subject to global sanctions.

South Korea and the U.S. launched the working group consultation channel in November amid concerns about a possible mismatch of progress in denuclearization talks and inter-Korean cooperation.

Thursday's videoconferencing comes in the wake of a flurry of speculation over the second meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

CNN earlier reported Kim Yong-chol, a senior North Korean official leading negotiations with the U.S., plans to visit Washington on Thursday (local time) for a two-day stay.

He is expected to hold talks with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on details of a planned summit between their leaders.

The North Korean envoy visited the U.S. last year a few weeks ahead of the historic first-ever Trump-Kim summit in Singapore on June 12.

S. Korea, U.S. to hold working group session on N. Korea Thursday - 1


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