US Envoy to meet with South, N Korean counterparts ahead of Trump-Kim summit
US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun is scheduled to meet with his North and South Korean counterparts in Seoul on 3 February, the Department of State said in a press release, Trend reported citing Sputnik.
"Biegun will travel to Seoul February 3 for a meeting with ROK [Republic of Korea] Special Representative Lee Do-hoon," the release said on Thursday. "Biegun will also have follow-up meetings with his North Korean counterpart [Kim Hak Chul] to discuss next steps to advance our objective of the final fully verified denuclearization of North Korea and steps to make further progress on all the commitments the two leaders made in Singapore".
In a speech at Stanford University Thursday afternoon, Biegun noted that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had sought unspecified reciprocal measures from the United States in exchange for denuclearization. "Exactly what these measures are is a matter I plan to discuss with my North Korean counterpart", Biegun said.
Biegun also noted that the United States is working with the UN Sanctions Committee to clear up a backlog of requests from humanitarian groups for access to North Korea as both aid providers and aid monitors.
In January, the sanctions committee approved aid projects proposed by groups from Switzerland, the United States, Britain, France, Canada and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
Stephen Biegun also stressed that Washington is embarking on a series of negotiations with Pyongyang ahead of a late February Trump-Kim summit to develop a roadmap for denuclearization.
"We expect to hold working level negotiations with our North Korean counterparts in advance of the summit, with the intention of achieving a set of concrete deliverables, a roadmap of negotiations and declarations going forward and a shared understanding of the desired outcome of our joint efforts", Biegun said Thursday.
Other issues involve recovery of remains from 5,000 US soldiers who never returned from the Korean War and Washington’s desire for a permanent peace to replace an armistice that ended the war, and full normalization of relations with embassies in each nation's capital, Beijun said.
Trump told reporters Thursday that he would announce the date and the venue of the new meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un next week, adding that his administration is making tremendous progress with Pyongyang.