US-North Korea talks on second Trump-Kim summit likely to be held in Panmunjom: Sources

South Korean and US Army soldiers standing guard at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarised Zone on Sept 7, 2018.
South Korean and US Army soldiers standing guard at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarised Zone on Sept 7, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

SEOUL - The United States and North Korea will likely hold their working-level talks on a proposed meeting of their leaders at a joint border village of the two Koreas, informed sources said on Saturday (Feb 2), according to Yonhap news agency.

The talks may begin as early as Monday, the sources said.

"The date and venue of the North Korea-US dialogue have yet to be announced, but Panmunjom seems like the most likely venue for now," a diplomatic source said.

The working-level dialogue will be attended by Stephen Biegun, Washington's special representative on North Korea, who is set to arrive in Seoul on Sunday, Yonhap said.

While announcing Biegun's trip to South Korea, the US Department of State did not mention when or where the working-level talks will be held.

"It is possible the working-level talks may take more than one day as there are many issues that need to be addressed before the second US-North Korea summit," another source said.

Panmunjom was the venue of the working-level dialogue between Biegun and his then North Korean counterpart Choe Son Hui before the first meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in June.

 

Biegun has said Kim Hyok Chol will be his new North Korean counterpart in summit preparation talks.

The upcoming dialogue is widely expected to set the ground rules for the second Trump-Kim meeting, while Seoul officials believe the sides may also begin drafting a joint declaration of the leaders to be issued at their second meeting.

The US President earlier said the exact date and venue of his second meeting with Kim will be announced early next week.