Top nuclear envoy says Seoul-Washington coordination key to denuclearization

By Ock Hyun-ju
  • Published : Jul 11, 2018 - 16:20
  • Updated : Jul 11, 2018 - 16:24

South Korea’s top nuclear envoy said Wednesday that the next few months are crucial for the path to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula as he departed for Washington to consult US officials on North Korea. 

Lee Do-hoon (Yonhap)

Lee Do-hoon, representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security affairs at the Foreign Ministry, also stressed the importance of coordination between South Korea and the US.

“In the path toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, the next several months will likely be very important,” he told reporters at the Incheon Airport. “Above all, the core element in the process is how deeply South Korea and the US coordinate.”

Lee is to hold meetings with key US officials including Alex Wong, the US State Department’s deputy assistant secretary for East Asian affairs, and Matthew Pottinger, senior director for Asian affairs at the National Security Council, during his four-day visit.

In Washington, Lee is also expected to discuss the next step at the working level to push forward North Korea’s denuclearization process and establish a peace regime in the wake of Pompeo’s visit to Pyongyang.

His visit comes after South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held a meeting on Sunday in which they, along with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono, vowed close coordination in dealing with North Korea.

Pompeo made a two-day visit Pyongyang last week, which critics say yielded little outcome. The two countries agreed to form a working group to come up with detailed plans for North Korea’s denuclearization.