The United States and North Korea are expected to reopen denuclearisation talks soon and they will go well, a senior South Korean official said yesterday, boosting hopes for progress in negotiations after a prolonged stalemate.
South Korea’s deputy national security adviser, Kim Hyun-chong, gave his upbeat assessment after meeting US envoy for North Korea Stephen Biegun in Seoul.
“My impression was that North Korea and the United States would carry out dialogue soon, and it would go well,” Kim told reporters after the one-hour meeting, without elaborating.
Talks aimed at dismantling North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes have stalled since a failed second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam in February.
Trump and Kim met again in June at the inter-Korean border and agreed to reopen working-level negotiations.
But North Korea has fired a series of short-range missiles since then, lambasting US-South Korea joint military exercises and the adoption of new weapons, while chastising South Korean President Moon Jae-in as “impudent”.
A North Korean foreign ministry spokesman yesterday took issue with South Korea’s acquisition of American F-35 stealth fighter jets, saying it was not interested in dialogue that was “accompanied by military threats”.
Kim, the South Korean official, said Biegun expressed gratitude over South Korea’s restrained response to the North’s criticism.