Seoul, July 7 (IANS) US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun, who is also Washington’s chief nuclear envoy, arrived in Seoul on Tuesday for talks about denuclearizing North Korea, as the communist nation again rejected the possibility of resuming negotiations with America.
Biegun landed at the US Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, reports Yonhap News Agency.
Biegun’s three-day visit comes after the North made clear in a statement earlier in the day that it has “no intention to sit face to face” with the US, saying there were still people talking about such a possibility even after First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui echoed the remarks on July 4.
In Seoul, Biegun is expected to hold talks with Lee Do-hoon, Seoul’s nuclear envoy, about ways to break the impasse in the nuclear negotiations.
Also expected to be on the agenda are inter-Korean relations in the wake of the North’s blowing up of a joint liaison office.
Other officials he is also scheduled to meet include Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and First Vice Foreign Minister Cho Sei-young.
The US Department of State said Monday that Biegun will travel to Seoul and Tokyo from Tuesday to Friday “to continue close allied cooperation” on bilateral and other issues and to “further strengthen coordination on the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea”.
Nuclear talks between the US and the North have stalled since the no-deal summit in Hanoi last year between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
The two sides held working-level talks later that year, but no progress was made.