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Top nuclear envoys of S. Korea, U.S. hold phone talks on stalled N.K. dialogue

All News 11:05 September 02, 2020

SEOUL, Sept. 2 (Yonhap) -- The top nuclear envoys of South Korea and the United States held phone talks Wednesday on joint efforts to resume stalled dialogue with North Korea, the foreign ministry said.

Lee Do-hoon and his U.S. counterpart, Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun, who doubles as Washington's chief nuclear envoy, shared the view that an early resumption of dialogue with Pyongyang is "necessary" to make substantive progress in efforts to achieve complete denuclearization and lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula, the ministry said.

"The two sides had consultations about ways to forge the conditions and push for dialogue," the ministry said in a press release.

"The two countries agreed to more closely communicate and cooperate on North Korea's nuclear and other issues bilaterally and multilaterally by actively utilizing planned international diplomatic events," it added.

Nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang have been stalled since the two countries' summit in Hanoi in February last year ended without a deal. The deadlock has also thrust into doubt Seoul's drive for inter-Korean reconciliation and economic cooperation.

The latest talks came as Seoul and Washington strive to maintain close diplomatic communication on North Korean issues and other bilateral issues despite the new coronavirus pandemic that has disrupted face-to-face diplomacy.

This photo, taken on July 8, 2020, shows South Korea's chief nuclear envoy, Lee Do-hoon (R), and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun standing for a press availability at the foreign ministry in Seoul. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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