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U.S., N. Korea expected to start drafting summit agreement: NIS chief

All News 16:44 January 29, 2019

SEOUL, Jan. 29 (Yonhap) -- The United States and North Korea will likely start preparing a joint statement of their leaders to be issued at their second bilateral summit scheduled for next month, the head of Seoul's state spy agency said Tuesday.

Suh Hoon, director of the National Intelligence Service (NIS), said he expected the two sides to begin discussing major topics for the proposed summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

"I believe they will begin coordinating topics for the summit in order to draft a joint declaration in the North Korea-U.S. working level negotiations, along with their working-level preparations for the second North Korea-U.S. summit such as safety and protocols," the NIS chief was quoted as telling the parliamentary intelligence committee.

Trump and Kim issued a joint declaration calling for complete denuclearization of North Korea when they first met in Singapore in June.

Suh is the first ranking South Korean official to acknowledge the possibility of a new joint declaration from the second Trump-Kim summit.

The U.S. president said his second meeting with Kim will likely be held late next month shortly after he was paid a visit by Kim's point man on the U.S., Kim Yong-chol.

The NIS chief said the North Korean official's trip to Washington earlier this month appears to have been well received and led to "discussions on a wide range of issues in a friendly mood."

"As both North Korea and the United States are expressing satisfaction, and their working-level negotiations have begun in the earnest, we expect denuclearization talks to get a push," Suh was quoted as saying.

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