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Top nuke envoys of S. Korea, US to hold talks on N. Korea next week

The chief nuclear envoys of South Korea and the United States will hold talks next week to discuss efforts to resume dialogue with North Korea, the foreign ministry said Friday.

Sung Kim, the US special representative for North Korea, will arrive in Seoul on Saturday for a four-day visit and will hold talks with his South Korean counterpart, Noh Kyu-duk, on Monday, the ministry said in a release.

It will mark his second trip to South Korea since taking office as the US nuclear envoy under the Joe Biden administration. Kim last visited Seoul in June.

Kim and Noh "will discuss ways for cooperation between the two countries for substantive progress in the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and establishment of lasting peace," the ministry said.

Kim's visit comes amid heightened tensions after Pyongyang has blasted Seoul and Washington for going ahead with their joint military exercise running through next week and warned of "a serious security crisis."

Speculation has arisen that the North could take provocative actions in protest.

The North had reportedly issued a navigational warning for early this week for ships off the east coast, a possible indication that it had prepared a weapons test, such as a missile launch, although no such activities took place.

During his last visit in June, Kim said the US is ready to meet with the North "anytime, anywhere without preconditions" and looks forward to a positive response from Pyongyang. (Yonhap)