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(2nd LD) Deputy nuke envoys of S. Korea, U.S. hold talks on N.K. dialogue, peninsula security

All News 16:48 February 11, 2020

(ATTN: UPDATES last 3 paras with meeting with unification ministry official)

SEOUL, Feb. 11 (Yonhap) -- The deputy nuclear envoys of South Korea and the United States held consultations in Seoul on Tuesday, officials said, amid joint efforts to resume stalled nuclear talks with North Korea.

Lee Moon-hee, director general at the foreign ministry's North Korean nuclear affairs bureau, met U.S. Deputy Special Representative for North Korea Alex Wong, foreign ministry officials said.

The meeting came a day after Wong held a "working group" session with Rhee Dong-yeol, director general at the ministry's Korean Peninsula peace regime bureau, to coordinate policy on Pyongyang.

Lee and Wong were expected to exchange views on the prospects for dialogue with the communist state and security on the peninsula, as North Korean leader Kim Jong-un warned in his New Year's message of a "new strategic weapon" test and a "shocking actual action."

During the working group meeting on Monday, Wong and Rhee discussed Seoul's push for individual trips to the North as part of efforts to help the resumption of nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang.

Later Tuesday, Wong met a senior official of the unification ministry, which handles inter-Korean affairs.

During the meeting, Choi Young-jun, head of the ministry's unification policy office, and Wong exchanged their views on situations on the Korean Peninsula and agreed to have close consultations for denuclearization and peace-building efforts in the region, according to the ministry.

Choi, in particular, explained the Seoul government's North Korea policy, while Wong expressed Washington's commitment to enforcing an agreement reached with Pyongyang during a summit in June 2018 and emphasized a diplomatic solution to the North's nuclear issue, the ministry added.

U.S. Deputy Special Representative for North Korea Alex Wong arrives at the foreign ministry in Seoul on Feb. 11, 2020. (Yonhap)


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