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South Korea, US push to hold working-level video talks

The Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that South Korean and US officials are poised to hold working-level talks via video conferencing.

“South Korea and the US are closely coordinating for the next working group video conference,” Noh Kyu-duk, the ministry’s spokesman, told a regular press briefing.

Officials will discuss matters relating to North Korea and its nuclear program, although the schedule remains under discussion, he said.

Lee Dong-yeol, director-general for the Korean Peninsula Peace regime at the ministry, and his counterpart Alex Wong, the US deputy assistant secretary for North Korea, will preside in the online meeting.

The meeting was initially planned for last week but was postponed to later this week as the partial US government shutdown, which began on Dec. 22, continues, a ministry official said.

Officials of the two countries have been holding working group meetings twice a month -- a live video conference and face-to-face meetings alternately.

The last meeting was their second face-to-face consultation in Seoul on Dec. 21.

In the December meeting, they discussed offering Tamiflu to North Korea, holding video reunions for families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War and an inter-Korean project to excavate remains of an independence fighter against Japan’s colonial rule.

By Park Han-na (