High-level Seoul officials to head to N. Korea for talks
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA
South Korea’s president will send a delegation led by his national security director to North Korea this week for talks on how to ease nuclear tensions and help arrange the restart of dialogue between Pyongyang and Washington, officials said Sunday.
They will be the first known South Korean special envoys to travel to Pyongyang in about 10 years. Their trip comes amid a rare moment of goodwill between the rivals stemming from the recent Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
The 10-member delegation headed by National Security Director Chung Eui-yong is to fly to Pyongyang this afternoon for a two-day visit that includes talks with unidentified senior North Korean officials. The discussions will deal with how to promote peace on the Korean Peninsula, improve ties between the Koreas and foster an environment to realize the resumption of talks between Pyongyang and Washington, South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s office said.
After its Pyongyang trip, the South Korean delegation will visit Washington to brief U.S. officials about its talks with the North Korean officials, senior presidential official Yoon Young-chan said at a televised news conference.
U.S. officials have said North Korea must take serious disarmament steps before talks can restart, and North Korea has insisted it won’t place its nuclear program on the negotiating table.