S. Korea, U.S. in close consultation over summit preparatory talks with N.K.

SEOUL, South Korea and the United States have been in close consultation over working-level talks with North Korea aimed at setting the stage for a Washington-Pyongyang summit, the foreign ministry here said Thursday.

U.S. and North Korean officials have been holding talks at the border truce village of Panmunjom and in Singapore and New York to discuss the agenda and logistics for a possible June 12 summit between their leaders, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un.

"Regarding (the talks), the foreign ministry's Office for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs has been in close consultation (with the U.S.)," Noh Kyu-duk, the ministry spokesman, said during a press briefing.

"Through various diplomatic channels, Seoul and Washington have been holding consultations at each level almost every day," he added.

The U.S. delegation led by Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim and the North's team led by Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui have reportedly held two rounds of talks in Tongilgak, a North Korean-controlled building in Panmunjom.

They appear to have discussed key agenda items for the summit, including denuclearization methods.

On a separate track in Singapore, the North's delegation led by Kim Chang-son, a senior official at the State Affairs Commission, and the U.S. delegation led by White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations Joe Hagin have discussed logistics and security for the summit.

Kim Yong-chol, a vice chairman of the North's ruling Workers' Party's central committee, has flown to New York, where he held talks with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The two are expected to finalize details about the summit.

The flurry of talks come as the two sides are trying to salvage the summit, which was on the verge of collapse last Thursday when Trump walked away, citing "open hostility" from the North. Following the North's conciliatory gesture, Trump later suggested that the summit could happen as planned.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

You may also like...