Top nuke envoy holds talks with U.S. counterpart, Asia official on N.K.

SEOUL-- South Korea's chief nuclear envoy held separate talks with his U.S. counterpart and the chief U.S. official on Asian affairs on Wednesday (U.S. time) and discussed North Korea's denuclearization, Seoul's foreign ministry said.

Lee Do-hoon, special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, met with his counterpart, Stephen Biegun, and David Stilwell, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York, the ministry said in a release.

The meetings came amid expectations that the stalled nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang are about to resume soon, as North Korea offered to hold working-level talks in late September.

President Donald Trump said earlier this week that another meeting with the North's leader Kim Jong-un "could happen soon," albeit noting that it will likely come after progress is made in the working-level talks.

The two sides have been apart on how much the North should denuclearize before receiving sanctions relief and security guarantees from the U.S. The second Trump-Kim summit in Vietnam in February ended without a deal after they failed to bridge that gap.

Lee and Biegun have met three times during Lee's current visit to the U.S., as they met bilaterally in Washington last week and then had a trilateral meeting with Japanese counterpart Shigeki Takizaki on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Lee also met with Rosemary DiCarlo, assistant secretary general of the U.N. Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, and shared assessments on the current situation on the Korean Peninsula and discussed joint efforts toward advancing the peace process, the ministry added.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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