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N. Korean official arrives in Moscow for nuclear nonproliferation conference

All Headlines 09:03 November 06, 2019

MOSCOW/SEOUL, Nov. 6 (Yonhap) -- A North Korean diplomat has arrived in Moscow to attend a nuclear nonproliferation conference amid speculation he could possibly meet with U.S. officials also attending the forum.

Jo Chol-su, director-general of the North American department at the North's foreign ministry, arrived at an international airport in Moscow on Tuesday on an Aeroflot flight via Vladivostok to attend the 2019 Moscow Nonproliferation Conference set to kick off Thursday.

U.S. Special Envoy for North Korea Mark Lambert is also expected to take part in the three-day session, raising expectations for a possible meeting between the two sides on the margins of the conference.

Lee Do-hoon, South Korea's chief nuclear negotiator, is also scheduled to be on hand.

Jo declined to comment when asked by reporters whether he could hold talks with his U.S. counterparts during his stay in Moscow.

The meeting, if realized, will come at a time when nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang remain in a stalemate after their last working-level talks in Sweden ended without a breakthrough in early October.

The nuclear nonproliferation conference, hosted by Russia's Center for Energy and Security Studies every two to three years, has served as a chance for the United States and North Korea to sound out each other's positions at times of high tension.

In 2017, Choe Son-hui, then a director-general for North American affairs and currently the North's first vice foreign minister, attended the conference.

Jo Chol-su, director-general of the North American department at the North's foreign ministry, arrives at an international airport in Moscow on Nov. 5, 2019, to take part in the 2019 Moscow Nonproliferation Conference. (Yonhap)


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