South Korea’s new chief envoy to the stalled six-nation talks on North Korea’s nuclear weapons programs left for the United States Thursday, amid cautious diplomatic jostling to revive the multilateral forum.
Speaking to Yonhap News Agency before departing for Washington, Lim Sung-nam said that he “will make efforts to induce North Korea to denuclearize” by “closely coordinating with the U.S.”
Lim, a former deputy chief envoy to the six-party talks between 2007 and 2008, was appointed the lead delegate on Wednesday as part of a regular personnel reshuffle at the foreign ministry. His predecessor Wi Sung-lac was named as South Korea’s ambassador to Russia.
Foreign ministry officials said Lim’s three-day visit to the U.S. is also aimed at preparing for next week’s summit meeting between South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and U.S. President Barack Obama.
Lim, 53, will also meet with officials at the U.S. State Department and the National Security Council to brief them on the results of last month’s second round of inter-Korean denuclearization talks held in Beijing, the ministry said in a press release.