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Top S.Korean, US nuke envoys meet on N.Korea

Seoul, Oct 20 (IANS) Top nuclear envoys of South Korea and the US met here on Friday to discuss issues concerning the North Korean nuclear programme.

Lee Do-hoon, South Korea’s special representative for the Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, met visiting US nuclear envoy Joseph Yun, according to Seoul’s Foreign Ministry.

Lee and Yun represent their respective countries at the currently suspended six-party talks aimed at denuclearising the Korean Peninsula, Xinhua news agency reported.

The talks, which involved both the Koreas, China, the US, Russia and Japan, were last held in late 2008.

During the bilateral meeting, the diplomats discussed ways to encourage Pyongyang to accept denuclearisation talks.

They shared a view that Seoul and Washington would need to cooperate with major countries based on close US-South Korea coordination, agreeing to more frequently and closely communicate and coordinate with each other to achieve complete dismantling of Pyongyang’s nuclear programme in a peaceful manner.

The meeting followed a separate dialogue in Seoul on Thursday between the South Korean diplomat and his Japanese counterpart Kenji Kanasugi.

A vice ministerial-level meeting had also been held in Seoul between South Korea, the US and Japan to discuss the North Korean issues ahead of US President Donald Trump’s visit to Northeast Asia, including South Korea.

Tensions ran high on the peninsula following the Kim Jong-un’s regime’s detonation on September 3 of what it claimed was a hydrogen bomb. It was the sixth and most powerful nuclear test ever carried out by Pyongyang.

On September 15, Pyongyang test-fired an intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan, but there has been no additional provocation reported as of now.

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