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(2nd LD) (US-NK summit) N. Korean, U.S. envoys continue talks on summit agenda

Politics 22:32 February 23, 2019

(ATTN: UPDATES details in paras 3-4)

HANOI/SEOUL, Feb. 23 (Yonhap) -- Senior North Korean and U.S. envoys held another meeting in Hanoi on Saturday to discuss the agenda for the second summit between Pyongyang and Washington slated for next week.

Kim Hyok-chol, Pyongyang's special representative for the United States, met his U.S. counterpart Stephen Biegun, Washington's envoy for North Korea, for the third straight day on Saturday in Hanoi.

Following a one-hour meeting in the morning, they sat across the table again in the afternoon at around 4:30 p.m. (local time) and ended at 7:40 p.m.

The lengthy negotiations followed their 12 hours of meetings the previous two days to map out a deal that will be finalized at the Trump-Kim summit.

The second summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and President Donald Trump is slated for Feb. 27-28 in the Vietnamese capital.

Envoys from Washington and Pyongyang held a meeting that lasted for around an hour at Hotel du Parc in downtown Hanoi, where Biegun is staying.

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, accompanied Kim Hyok-chol.

The envoys also held lengthy meetings Thursday and Friday at Hotel du Parc as well.

The negotiations on the summit agenda came as Washington said that freezing all of Pyongyang's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs and delivery systems will be a priority at the second summit.

Meanwhile, a North Korean team, led by Kim Chang-son, an official at the State Affairs Commission, visited Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi again earlier in the day, one of the potential venues for the summit.

The team has been crisscrossing the city, apparently to make a decision on its leader's itinerary and lodging as well as the summit location.

Kim Hyok-chol, North Korea's envoy for the United States, leaves the Vietnamese government's guesthouse in Hanoi on Feb. 23, 2019. (Yonhap)


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