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(LEAD) U.S., N.K. to hold new round of pre-summit talks in Asian nation next week: Cheong Wa Dae

North Korea 16:49 February 10, 2019

(ATTN: ADDS more remarks from spokesman Kim)

SEOUL, Feb. 10 (Yonhap) -- The United States and North Korea plan to hold a new round of talks in a third Asian nation next week to prepare for the second summit of their leaders, South Korea's presidential office said Sunday.

President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump also plan to hold discussions soon about Trump's upcoming meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un set for Feb. 27-28 in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi, presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said.

The two leaders are expected to speak by phone.

"We are going to announce details as soon as preparations are complete," Kim said.

U.S. special envoy for North Korea Stephen Biegun held the first round of pre-summit negotiations with his North Korean counterpart, Kim Hyok-chol, during his three-day visit to Pyongyang from Wednesday through Friday.

Details of the negotiations were not available, but the two sides agreed to meet again before the summit.

Kim said a new round of talks will be held sometime "in the week beginning Feb. 17 in a third nation in Asia." The spokesman did not provide further details.

Biegun returned to Seoul on Friday night and held a series of meetings with South Korean officials on Saturday, including Chung Eui-yong, chief of the presidential National Security Office. The U.S. envoy left for the U.S. on Sunday.

Kim quoted Chung as saying that the U.S.-North Korea talks are "moving well in a broad direction."

"I heard Representative Biegun received a warm welcome in Pyongyang," Kim said. "I heard that the North-U.S. talks this time were a useful opportunity where the North and the U.S. talked openly and fully about their specific positions on what they want in a very detailed manner."
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