US envoy for North Korea arrives in Seoul

Seoul, June 19 (EFE).- The American special envoy for North Korea arrived in Seoul Saturday to hold meetings with South Korean and Japanese officials to coordinate positions on Pyongyang.

Sung Kim, appointed by United States President Joe Biden last month, has served as Acting Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

He will stay in South Korea for five days.

On Monday, he will hold bilateral meetings with South Korean top nuclear envoy Noh Kyu-duk, and the director-general of the Japanese foreign ministry’s Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, Takehiro Funakoshi, the South Korean foreign ministry announced.

Upon his arrival at Seoul’s Incheon airport, the US envoy said his goal was to hold “productive meetings” with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts, local news agency Yonhap reported.

Kim’s first trip to the Korean peninsula after his appointment takes place during the same week that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said the country must prepare “for both dialogue and confrontation” with the US, during a plenary meeting of the North’s ruling party.

It is the first time that Kim has shown his willingness to talk with the US since Biden took office earlier this year.

The new US administration strategy on North Korea is an alternative to the all or nothing policy of former President Donald Trump and the policy of strategic patience of his predecessor, Barack Obama, opting instead for a middle path that pursues diplomatic dialog in phases and seeks to restart denuclearization talks stalled since 2019.

During his stay in Seoul, the US envoy also plans to meet other senior South Korean officials and members of academia and civil society to discuss the outcomes of Washington’s new policy on the Korean peninsula, the US State Department said Thursday. EFE


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