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(LEAD) N. Korean envoy on U.S. in Hanoi for pre-summit talks

Diplomacy 21:40 February 20, 2019

(ATTN: UPDATES lead paras with envoy's arrival, minor edits throughout; CHANGES headline, dateline)

HANOI/BEIJING, Feb. 20 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's point man on the United States landed in the Vietnamese capital on Wednesday for talks on the agenda of a summit between the two sides next week.

Kim Hyok-chol, special representative for U.S. affairs of the State Affairs Commission, arrived in Hanoi at around 6:20 p.m. on a plane from Beijing.

He walked out of the Hanoi international airport along with two other officials: Kim Song-hye, director of the United Front Department's tactical office, and Choe Kang-il, acting director-general for the foreign ministry's North American affairs.

They were soon whisked away in a car.

North Korean officials walk to board a plane bound for Hanoi at the Beijing international airport on Feb. 20, 2019. (Yonhap)

Kim is expected to meet with his American counterpart, Stephen Biegun, to discuss what will be covered in the two-day talks between President Donald Trump and leader Kim Jong-un in Hanoi on Feb. 27 and 28.

Biegun departed from Washington D.C. for the city, according to the State Department.

In the pre-summit negotiations, they will likely draft a joint statement to be issued after the summit, which media is to call the Hanoi Declaration.


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