S. Korean nuclear envoy leaves for Germany for talks with Biegun

SEOUL, South Korea's chief nuclear envoy left for Germany on Tuesday for talks with his U.S. counterpart ahead of the expected resumption of workinglevel denuclearization negotiations between the United States and North Korea.

Lee Dohoon, special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, is scheduled to meet in Berlin with U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy Stephen Biegun and German foreign ministry officials.

Biegun has been in Brussels for meetings with European officials and will travel to Berlin on Wednesday. His trip had spurred speculation he may meet with North Korean officials during the trip, but the State Department said no such meetings are planned.

The trip came after U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jongun held a surprise meeting at the interKorean border on June 30 and agreed to restart nuclear talks that have been stalled since February's nodeal summit.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said later he expects the talks to resume in midJuly.

Speaking to reporters at the airport, Lee also said he expects the nuclear talks to resume by then.

Lee declined to comment on the possible venue for the talks, only saying he believes the U.S. and the North "are closely coordinating on a range of issues including that one."

Sweden and Berlin have been cited as possible venues. The last U.S.North Korea working level talks took place in Sweden in January ahead of the TrumpKim summit in Hanoi.

During the fourday trip to Berlin, Lee said he and Biegun will discuss ways to advance the peace process, stressing, "The peace process for the Korean Peninsula has been reactivated" following the June 30 meeting between Trump and Kim.

Lee will also hold talks with his German counterpart, Ina Lepel, directorgeneral for Asia and Pacific at the Foreign Office.

Source: Yonhap news Agency

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