Monday, November 19, 2018

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: South Korea's top nuclear envoy left to US

South Korea's top nuclear envoy left for the U.S. today, as Seoul aims to restart denuclearization talks with North Korea.

Lee Do-hoon, Seoul's special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs will be in Washington for three days for meetings with his U.S. counterpart Stephen Biegun, Washington's special representative for North Korea.

While discussions on North Korea's denuclearization and developments on the Korean Peninsula will be key agendas, the two diplomats are also to planning to fine-tune details of their new working group, announced after their last meeting in Seoul a month ago.

And officials from the National Security Office and the Unification Ministry are known to have joined him on the trip.
Lee said high-level talks between Pyeongyang and Washington will also be discussed.

At the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea, South Korean President Moon Jae-in proposed a joint project called the Digital Innovation Fund, aimed at fostering the Pacific Rim's digital capabilities.

The South Korean leader also reaffirmed his resolve to play a part in advancing sustainable growth in the region.

On the sidelines of the summits in Singapore and Papua New Guinea, President Moon held bilateral meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

President Moon and Pence reaffirmed that talks between Pyeongyang and Washington are progressing well and Pence requested the South Korean leader to engage in closer communications with the Kim Jong-un regime.

At the summit between Presidents Moon and Xi, the leaders both saw the second North Korea-U.S. summit and a planned visit to Seoul by Kim Jong-un as crucial in resolving the denuclearization issue.

Some 100 South Koreans, including the chairperson of Hyundai Group Hyun Jeong-eun, headed North on Sunday to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Mount. Geumgangsan tour program which started in 1998.

However tours to North Korean Mountain halted in 2008 after a South Korean tourist was shot dead

Since then, Hyundai Group has tried to resume them, but sanctions on North Korea stood in their way.

Still, on Sunday, 10 years since the tours stopped, the two Koreas celebrated the 20th anniversary together.

The celebration was suggested by Hyundai, and North Korea agreed to it.

The chair of Hyundai Group, Hyun Jeong-eun is attending together with South Korean lawmakers and former ministers of unification, while the North is sending around 80 officials from its Asia-Pacific Committee.

South Korea's Ministry of Unification says the two sides will not be talking about resuming the tours this time.

Source: Arirang News

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