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Biegun in Seoul this week to discuss resumption of nuke talks with North Korea

By Lee Min-hyung

Stephen Biegun
Stephen Biegun
United States Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun will embark on a three-day visit to Seoul from Thursday to discuss the potential resumption of suspended nuclear talks with North Korea.

According to the U.S. State Department, Biegun's trip to Seoul is aimed at "further strengthening coordination on the final, fully verified denuclearization" of the North.

The nuclear dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang has come to a halt since the breakdown of the Hanoi summit between the leaders of the two countries.

Expectations were that both sides would resume working-level talks on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula sometime last month, as agreed during a surprise meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on June 30.

Citing the joint military exercise between Seoul and Washington, however, Pyongyang declined to hold nuclear talks and instead ramped up military provocations by firing a series of missiles in recent weeks.

But an air of anticipation for the potential resumption of the nuclear dialogue is growing, as the joint drill ends on the same day Biegun arrives in Seoul. Trump also added to the possibility in a recent tweet.

"In a letter to me sent by Kim Jong-un, he stated, very nicely, that he would like to meet and start negotiations as soon as the joint U.S.-South Korea joint exercises are over," Trump said in a tweet on Aug. 10.

On the Seoul visit, the top U.S. nuclear envoy will meet his counterpart Lee Do-hoon and engage in preparations for the working-level talks.



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