Ambassador sees hope for resumption of U.S.-N.K. talks

WASHINGTON, South Korea's top envoy to the United States said Tuesday he is hopeful a recent series of diplomatic events will lead to the resumption of U.S.-North Korea nuclear talks.

Speaking at a briefing with reporters, Amb. Cho Yoon-je cited last week's letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to U.S. President Donald Trump, as well as Kim's condolence message delivered by his sister on the occasion of the death of former South Korean first lady Lee Hee-ho.

"I think these are positive trends in that they were the first direct communication with the U.S. and the South by the North Korean leader since the Hanoi summit," he said, referring to Trump and Kim's no-deal meeting in February.

"South Korea and the U.S. are of the position that we will do our best to use this opportunity to bring about a resumption of talks between the North and the U.S., as well as between the South and the North."

Communication has been scarce since the Hanoi summit ended without a deal due to differences over the scope of North Korea's denuclearization and sanctions relief from the U.S.

The next few weeks will see a series of heavyweight events, starting with Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to North Korea on Thursday and Friday.

That will be followed by South Korean President Moon Jae-in's meeting with Xi, as well as a Trump-Xi meeting, at the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan, next week. And then Trump will visit Seoul for talks with Moon.

"There's a somewhat hopeful feel for the resumption of North Korea-U.S. talks that have been stagnant for months following the Hanoi summit," Cho said.

He vowed the South Korean Embassy's best efforts to make the Moon-Trump summit a success, saying the details have yet to be finalized and will likely be announced by both governments.

Source: Yonhap news Agency

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