A senior North Korean foreign ministry official had a rare meeting with Joel Wit, a former State Department official, in Geneva early this week, a diplomatic source here said Thursday.
An Myong-hun, deputy director-general of North Korea's foreign ministry, led the nation's delegation to a "Track II" meeting with a group of American academics headed by Wit, according to the source.
Wit, a visiting scholar at the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, is known for expertise on North Korea affairs and reportedly has some personal connection with some of its officials.
The U.S. government was not involved in the Geneva meeting, arranged by a Washington-based think tank, Nuclear Threat Initiative, said the source.
In Seoul, South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman Cho Tai-young confirmed to reporters that Wit met with North Korean officials in Geneva. He did not specify the timing.
In July last year, Wit had a similar meeting in Singapore with Choi Son-hui, director-general of the North Korean foreign ministry's American affairs bureau.
Wit and his aides did not respond to repeated calls and emails
from Yonhap News Agency. (Yonhap News)