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U.S. envoy for N. Korea visits China

All Headlines 23:41 March 25, 2019

WASHINGTON, March 25 (Yonhap) -- U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun is in China, the State Department said Monday, apparently for talks on denuclearizing the regime.

Japan's Kyodo news agency reported earlier that the top U.S. negotiator for North Korea has been in Beijing since Sunday and will possibly meet with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou.

Biegun would use the meeting to press China to continue to enforce U.N. sanctions aimed at stopping the North's development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, it said.

"I can confirm that Special Representative Biegun is in Beijing," a department spokesperson said in response to a Yonhap query. "I don't have any details of his schedule to share‎."

Biegun has been meeting with international partners since last month's summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un collapsed without a deal.

Last week in London, he met with his British, German and French counterparts to discuss "coordinated efforts to advance the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea," according to the State Department.

Meanwhile, on Thursday the U.S. Department of the Treasury slapped sanctions on two Chinese shipping companies accused of helping the North evade sanctions.

Trump announced a day later that he had ordered the withdrawal of new sanctions, sparking confusion as to whether he was referring to those unveiled Thursday or ones yet to come.

Several news outlets later quoted U.S. officials as saying that the president meant large-scale sanctions that had been planned for the coming days.

This AP file photo shows U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun. (Yonhap)

hague@yna.co.kr
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