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Seoul's top nuclear negotiator arrives in Washington for talks on N. Korea

All News 01:43 August 30, 2021

WASHINGTON, Aug. 29 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's top nuclear envoy arrived here Sunday for talks with his U.S. counterparts on ways to resume dialogue with North Korea.

Noh Kyu-duk's trip to Washington follows his U.S. counterpart Sung Kim's visit to Seoul last week.

"I believe we are now at a critical point to restart the Korean Peninsula peace process," Noh said of the reason for his U.S. visit. "I came to Washington in order to continue the discussions I had with Special Representative Sung Kim in Seoul last week."

"I wish to hold in-depth discussions on various issues related to the Korean Peninsula, including the North Korean nuclear issue, with U.S. government officials during my U.S. trip," he told reporters after arriving in Washington.

Seoul's foreign ministry earlier said Noh will meet with officials from the State Department, as well as the White House National Security Council.

North Korea has stayed away from denuclearization talks since leader Kim Jong-un's second summit with former U.S. President Donald Trump ended without a deal in Hanoi in February 2019.

Trump and Kim first met in Singapore in June 2018, marking the first-ever U.S.-North Korea summit.

Pyongyang has also ignored overtures made by the Joe Biden administration since it took office in January, while warning Seoul and Washington of a "serious security crisis" for staging their regular joint military exercise this month.

During his Seoul visit, the special U.S. envoy for the North said he and his South Korean counterpart had discuss possible humanitarian assistance to the North.

"We are holding discussions with the U.S. to enable humanitarian cooperation with North Korea in various areas," Noh said.

The South Korean envoy is set to head back home on Wednesday.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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