WASHINGTON (Xinhua): US Deputy Secretary of State and special envoy for North Korea Stephen Biegun will visit South Korea and Japan this week, said the US State Department on Monday (July 6).
Biegun will travel to Seoul and Tokyo from July 7-10 to meet his counterparts there and continue "close allied coordination" on bilateral and global issues as well as North Korea, according to a statement released by the department.
South Korean Foreign Ministry said that Biegun is slated to meet with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha on Wednesday morning, followed by the eighth round of South Korea-US vice-ministerial strategic dialogue with Cho Sei-young, South Korea's first vice foreign minister, to discuss the issues of mutual concern.
The special envoy's visit comes at a moment that tensions on the Korean Peninsula have reignited and chances for further denuclearization negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang are slim.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in said last week that his country would make all-out efforts to let North Korea and the United States hold talks before the US presidential election.
Pyongyang, however, dismissed Moon's suggestion. Choe Son Hui, North Korea's first vice-minister of foreign affairs of DPRK, said on Saturday that the United States is mistaken "if it thinks things like negotiations would still work on us."
Denuclearisation talks between North Korea' and the United States have stalled since the second summit between top North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump ended without any agreement in February 2019 in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi.
Tensions escalated on the Korean Peninsula after the North demolished the inter-Korean joint liaison office building in North Korea's border city of Kaesong last month in protest against anti-Pyongyang leaflets sent across the border by South Korean civic group activists, mostly defectors from the North. North Korea has also cut off all communication lines with South Korea. - Xinhua
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