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S. Korea, U.S. officials to meet over N.K. denuclearization

This photo shows Lee Do-hoon (R), South Korea's special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, meeting with U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun in Seoul on Oct. 29, 2018. (Yonhap)

Pan Pacific Agency | COMMUICATION AGENCY FOR PACIFICA REGIONS

WASHINGTON, Nov 19, 2018, Yonhap. Top South Korean and U.S. officials will meet in Washington this week to coordinate efforts to rid North Korea of its nuclear weapons program, the U.S. State Department said Monday, reported the Yonhap.

Lee Do-hoon, South Korea’s special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, will hold talks Tuesday with his U.S. counterpart, Stephen Biegun, to “further strengthen our close coordination on efforts to achieve our shared goal of final, fully verified denuclearization,” the department said in a statement.

The two will also discuss “ongoing diplomatic efforts, sustained implementation of U.N. sanctions, and inter-Korean cooperation,” it said.

South Korea has been expanding cross-border exchanges with the North to spur denuclearization, a commitment made by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at his historic summits this year with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump.

This photo shows Lee Do-hoon (R), South Korea’s special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, meeting with U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun in Seoul on Oct. 29, 2018. (Yonhap)

The U.S. is apparently concerned such projects could undermine U.N. sanctions on the regime, saying inter-Korean progress must proceed at the same pace as progress in denuclearization.

The officials agreed last month to launch a bilateral working group to aid coordination on the matter. The inaugural session is expected to take place during Lee’s three-day visit to Washington.

While formal negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang have stalled, Trump has said he expects to have a second summit with Kim early next year.

South Korea has also said it expects Kim to visit Seoul before the end of the year in line with an agreement reached during the last inter-Korean summit in September.

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