Moon meets with U.S. envoy on N. Korea at Cheong Wa Dae

SEOUL-- President Moon Jae-in had his first official meeting with U.S. special envoy for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, in more than a year Monday, as tensions between Pyongyang and Washington are escalating again.

Moon and Biegun made no opening remarks in front of pool reporters and TV cameras, starting the session at Cheong Wa Dae.

They are expected to discuss ways to keep nuclear talks with North Korea alive and maintain momentum in the slow-going Korea peace process.

Earlier in the day, Biegun stressed that Washington remains open to bargaining with Pyongyang, saying it has no "deadline" for the resumption of dialogue.

North Korea has stated that it would wait just till the end of this year for the Trump administration to make concessions.

It has apparently been flexing its muscles again on a long-range missile program, which has been mothballed for the past two years. Pyongyang announced a series of successes in "crucial tests" at a long-range rocket test site near the border with China.

Speaking to reporters after talks with his South Korean counterpart, Lee Do-hoon, Biegun called on the North to return to the bargaining table.

"It is time for us to do our jobs. Let's get this done. We

are here, and you know how to reach us," he said.

The message came amid widespread speculation that he may meet North Korean officials at the truce village of Panmunjom during his trip here to last through Tuesday. Cheong Wa Dae officials refused to comment publicly on the possibility.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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