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US envoy in Seoul to discuss resuming Pyongyang talks

Seoul: Stephen Biegun, the US representative for North Korea, on Tuesday arrived in Seoul where he will meet South Korean authorities to discuss the resumption of denuclearization talks with Pyongyang.

Biegun and top South Korean officials are scheduled to meet following several weapons tests carried out by the North Korean regime in the last few weeks and repeated threats from Pyongyang prompted by the joint military exercises held in the South between the two allies, reports Efe news.

The joint exercises and angry protests from the North were indicative of the current impasse in the dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang.

North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump had agreed to resume working-level meetings at their last impromptu summit on the inter-Korean border around the end of June.

Despite the rise in tensions across the Korean peninsula, Kim had expressed his willingness to resume the talks at the end of the joint exercises in a letter to the US president earlier this month, Trump said in a tweet.

Biegun’s visit to Seoul coincides with the end of the joint military exercise that began on August 5 and could serve to pave the way for restarting the denuclearization talks that have been stalled over the past few months.

Biegun, who will remain in the South Korean capital until Thursday, is set to meet with his South Korean counterpart Lee Do-hoon and other top officials in President Moon Jae-in’s administration.

Before his visit to Seoul, the envoy visited Tokyo on Monday to meet representatives of the Japanese government and discussed the coordination between the allies to achieve the Korean Peninsula’s denuclearization.

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