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Unification minister holds talks with US nuclear envoy on N. Korea

South Korean Unification Minister Lee In-young (R) speaks with Sung Kim, U.S. special envoy for North Korea, during their meeting at the unification ministry in Seoul on April 19, 2022. (Yonhap)
South Korean Unification Minister Lee In-young (R) speaks with Sung Kim, U.S. special envoy for North Korea, during their meeting at the unification ministry in Seoul on April 19, 2022. (Yonhap)

Unification Minister Lee In-young met with the US envoy for North Korea to seek ways to bring the reclusive regime back to the negotiating table, his office said Tuesday.

During the meeting, Lee and U.S. Special Representative Sung Kim discussed ways to "stably manage" the currently "grave" political situation on the Korean Peninsula, the ministry said in a press release.

Lee stressed the two sides must maintain close policy cooperation ahead of the incoming government of President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol, and work closely to prevent the North from escalating tensions and resume dialogue.

Kim said the U.S. remains open to diplomacy and engagement with Pyongyang but stressed it will respond to the North's provocations through close consultations with the South.

He also met Vice Unification Minister Choi Young-joon to discuss the latest political situation, including the North's reported test of a tactical guided missile over the weekend.

Kim's visit here comes amid concerns Pyongyang could stage major provocations, such as a nuclear or intercontinental ballistic missile test, ahead of Yoon's inauguration next month. (Yonhap) 

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