US, DPRK officials to meet ahead of summit
REPRESENTATIVES of the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea will meet this month in an unidentified Asian country ahead of their leaders’ planned second summit in Vietnam, South Korean officials said yesterday.
The US special representative for the DPRK, Stephen Biegun, visited Pyongyang last week to work out details of the February 27-28 summit in Hanoi between President Donald Trump and DPRK leader Kim Jong Un.
After being briefed by Biegun about his talks in the DPRK, South Korea’s presidential office said that the US and the DPRK used Biegun’s trip as a chance to explain what concrete steps they want from each other.
South Korea’s national security adviser Chung Eui-yong, who met Biegun, reported that US-DPRK diplomacy “is working well,” presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said.
He said a follow-up US-DPRK meeting ahead of the summit will take place in a third country in Asia in the week beginning February 17.
In Pyongyang, Biegun and Kim Hyok Chol, DPRK’s special representative for US affairs, discussed “advancing Trump and Kim’s Singapore summit commitments of complete denuclearization, transforming US-(DPRK) relations, and building a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula,” the US State Department said in a statement.
Trump and Kim met for their first summit in Singapore last June, during which Kim pledged to work toward the “complete denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula, without providing a clear timetable or roadmap.
US-led diplomacy aimed at getting the DPRK to abandon its nuclear program in return for outside concessions has since made little headway.