U.S. envoy to visit South Korea next week - sources


FILE PHOTO: U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun talks with his South Korean counterpart Lee Do-hoon during their meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Seoul, South Korea, July 8, 2020. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/Pool

WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) - Washington's point man on North Korea, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun, is scheduled to visit Seoul next week to meet with South Korean officials, five sources with knowledge of the trip told Reuters.

The trip has not been announced by the State Department, and a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Seoul said he had no announcement to make.

Besides meeting with South Korean officials, Biegun was also due to give a speech, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity as the trip had yet to be publicised.

The U.S. delegation is scheduled to arrive on Tuesday and spend several days in the South Korean capital, three sources said.

Biegun has spearheaded working-level talks with North Korea over its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes in the past, but those efforts have made no visible progress despite President Donald Trump's unprecedented summits with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Biegun has said he is open to resuming talks at any time, but North Korea insists that it has no intention of returning to denuclearisation negotiations as long as the United States clings to "hostile policies".

Talks over reducing international sanctions on North Korea in return for concessions from Pyongyang broke down in the wake of a summit between Trump and Kim in Vietnam in February 2019, which ended with no deal.

Biegun's visit comes as incoming U.S. President-elect Joe Biden has promised to reset relations with Seoul, which have been strained by Trump's demand that South Korea pay billions of dollars more for maintaining the U.S. troop presence on the peninsula.

Relations between the allies were also complicated by South Korean frustrations with U.S. objections to some of its efforts to engage with North Korea.

(Reporting by Hyonhee Shin and Josh Smith in Seoul, and the Washington, D.C. bureau.; Editing by Gareth Jones and Catherine Evans)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 18
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
   

Did you find this article insightful?

Yes
No

Next In World

North Korea cracks down on foreign media, speaking styles
South Korea may secure additional COVID-19 vaccines from Novavax, Moon says
Trump expected to pardon former adviser Bannon - source
Factbox: Biden Cabinet - President-elect fills out his team
British hospitals use blockchain to track Covid-19 vaccines
Taiwan cancels more events as local COVID-19 cases rise
Japan says vaccination schedule for broader population undecided
Cybersecurity firm: Booting hackers a complex chore
South Korea's Moon taps ex-adviser as foreign minister in bid to revive North Korea talks
Biden leads Covid-19 memorial on eve of inauguration as US deaths pass 400k

Stories You'll Enjoy