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S. Korea, U.S. agree to consider ending 'working group' forum on N. Korea policy

North Korea 07:30 June 22, 2021

SEOUL, June 22 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and the United States have agreed to consider terminating their "working group" forum on North Korea policy, the foreign ministry said Tuesday, in what appears to be a conciliatory gesture to Pyongyang that has decried the forum as a hurdle to inter-Korean ties.

Seoul's top nuclear envoy, Noh Kyu-duk, and his U.S. counterpart, Sung Kim, reached the agreement during their talks in Seoul on Monday, as they sought a coordinated strategy to resume nuclear diplomacy with Pyongyang.

"During the talks between the top nuclear envoys, the two sides checked the operation of the existing working group and agreed to consider terminating it," the ministry said in a press release.

The ministry said that the two sides agreed to strengthen their director-general level consultations in addition to dialogue between their chief nuclear negotiators.

Seoul and Washington set up the working group in November 2018 to coordinate their approaches on the North's denuclearization, humanitarian aid, sanctions enforcement and inter-Korean relations.

Seoul's top nuclear envoy, Noh Kyu-duk, and his U.S. counterpart, Sung Kim, pose before their talks at a Seoul hotel on June 21, 2021. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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