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S. Korea's top nuke envoy holds talks with Chinese ambassador

All News 16:12 July 03, 2020

By Kim Seung-yeon

SEOUL, July 3 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's chief nuclear negotiator Lee Do-hoon met with Chinese Ambassador Xing Haiming on Friday and discussed the situation on the Korean Peninsula, the Chinese envoy said.

The meeting took place as Lee reported to work for the first time since his release from mandatory two-week self-isolation after returning from a trip to Washington, where he held talks with his counterpart, Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun.

Xing was seen arriving at the foreign ministry in the afternoon. When approached by reporters with a question on what he would be discussing with Lee, he said he came to discuss "the situation on the Korean Peninsula."

Tensions between the two Koreas spiked sharply last month, as the North cut off cross-border communication lines, blew up an inter-Korean liaison office and threatened to take military action in anger over anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets.

But the situation later cooled off slightly after leader Kim Jong-un put military action plans on hold.

Friday's meeting between Lee and Xing also comes amid news reports that Biegun is planning to visit South Korea next week.

The nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang remain at an impasse after the collapse of the Hanoi summit of U.S. President Donald Trump and leader Kim. They failed to reach a deal on the scope of the North's giving up of its nuclear weapons program in return for U.S. concessions.

Lee Do-hoon, special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, arrives at Seoul's foreign ministry building on July 3, 2020, after completing a two-week self-isolation as required under quarantine rules against COVID-19 after he returned from a trip to Washington late last month. (Yonhap)
Chinese Ambassador Xing Haiming enters the foreign ministry building on July 3, 2020, for a meeting with Lee Do-hoon, South Korea's chief nuclear negotiator, to discuss North Korea issues. (Yonhap)

elly@yna.co.kr
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