US diplomat in Seoul over US-N. Korea summit

Mr Stephen Biegun will meet South Korean officials to discuss the second Trump-Kim summit.
Mr Stephen Biegun will meet South Korean officials to discuss the second Trump-Kim summit.

SEOUL • US special representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun arrived in South Korea yesterday for working-level talks on a proposed second summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Yonhap news agency reported.

Mr Biegun plans to meet his North Korean counterpart Kim Hyok Chol to discuss the agenda and other issues ahead of the summit slated for later this month, Yonhap said, citing a diplomatic source it did not identify.

Mr Trump has said he will announce the time and location of the second summit with Mr Kim early this week.

Separately, Mr Biegun will visit the South Korean presidential Blue House today to meet South Korea's national security adviser Chung Eui-yong, ahead of the talks with North Korea, YTN reported, citing an unidentified Blue House official.

Mr Biegun will meet North Korean officials on Feb 5 and the venue could be its capital of Pyongyang or the inter-Korean border village of Panmunjom, according to YTN. The talks may last more than a day.

Panmunjom was the venue of the working-level dialogue between Mr Biegun and his then-North Korean counterpart Choe Son Hui before the first meeting between Mr Trump and Mr Kim in Singapore last June.

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.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 04, 2019, with the headline 'US diplomat in Seoul over US-N. Korea summit'. Print Edition | Subscribe