S. Korea, US discuss N. Korea via videoconferencing


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South Korean and US government officials had a “working group” session on North Korea via videoconferencing Thursday, Seoul’s foreign ministry said, as Pyongyang and Washington look set to resume high-level negotiations.

As part of regular consultations on the matter, the two sides talked about “various pending issues,” including North Korea-US relations and inter-Korean cooperation, it added.

The ministry did not provide other details.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Yonhap)

In a two-paragraph press release on the session, it just said the working group is “taking root as a stage for comprehensive and close coordination” between the allies.

They launched the separate communication channel last November amid speculation that they have a divergent approach toward the communist nation.

US officials are reportedly concerned that the liberal Moon Jae-in administration may be moving too fast to foster economic cooperation with the North amid tough sanctions and lack of progress in denuclearization.

Seoul’s unification ministry, handling inter-Korean affairs, earlier said some humanitarian projects would be discussed in Thursday’s session.

The South plans to provide the North with the antiviral medication Tamiflu and arrange video reunions for families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War.

Kim Yong-chol, a top aide to the North’s leader Kim Jong-un, is expected to visit Washington, DC this week for talks with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

They apparently plan to negotiate the schedule, logistics and agenda items of a second summit between the two sides. (Yonhap)


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