The top nuclear negotiators of South Korea, the United States and Japan met Tuesday in Washington, where they reaffirmed the importance of coordination on North Korea to achieve complete denuclearization and lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula, the US State Department said.
From left: US Special Representaive for North Korea Stephen Biegun, Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Lee Do-hoon, and Japanese Director General for Asian and Oceanian Affairs Shigeki Takizaki (Yonhap)
Lee Do-hoon, special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, held bilateral and trilateral meetings with his US and Japanese counterparts to discuss Saturday’s working-level nuclear negotiations between US and North Korea in Stockholm.
It was the two countries’ first round of talks since the second summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un collapsed without a deal in February. However, the North pulled out from the meeting Saturday, blaming the US for not bringing any new proposal to the table.
US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun is believed to have shared details of his meeting with his North Korean counterpart Kim Myong-gil and discussed follow-up measures, during his meeting with Lee and Shigeki Takizaki, Japanese director general for Asian and Oceanian affairs, on Tuesday.
Lee spoke briefly to reporters after the meeting, but did not share details.
“We spoke mostly about how to keep the momentum for dialogue (with North Korea),” Lee said. “South Korea and the US are coordinating well, and we will continue to do so.”
The chief nuclear negotiators of the three countries last met Sept. 24 at the United Nations general assembly in New York.
Pyongyang claimed that Saturday’s talks broke down due to Washington’s “inability to abandon its outdated position and attitude,” while Washington said its delegates “brought creative ideas and had good discussions” with their North Korean counterparts.
The US has accepted Sweden’s offer to host the next round of talks in two weeks’ time, but North Korea’s Kim Myong-gil was skeptical.
On Monday, Kim told reporters that it is up to the US whether to hold follow-up nuclear talks, warning that if the US comes unprepared, it could lead to “terrible consequences.”
By Kim So-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)