US, N. Korean envoys agree to meet again before summit

By Park Han-na
  • Published : Feb 9, 2019 - 09:21
  • Updated : Feb 9, 2019 - 09:21

US and North Korean negotiators concluded their talks in Pyongyang, agreeing to meet again before the second bilateral summit slated for later this month, the State Department said Friday.

US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun was in the North Korean capital from Wednesday through Friday for pre-summit talks with his counterpart, Kim Hyok-chol.

US and North Korean flags are on display for sale at a flag shop in Hanoi, Vietnam. With the next meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un set for Feb. 27-28 in Vietnam. (AP-Yonhap)

US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are scheduled to meet in Vietnam Feb. 27-28.

The two envoys "discussed advancing President Trump and Chairman Kim's Singapore summit commitments of complete denuclearization, transforming US-DPRK relations, and building a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula," the department said in a statement, referring to the pledges made at the first summit in June.

"Special Representative Biegun and Special Representative Kim agreed to meet again in advance of President Trump and Chairman Kim's second summit."

DPRK is the acronym of North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

This week's negotiations were aimed at hammering out the logistics and agenda for the second summit. Biegun said ahead of his trip that he would discuss the "corresponding measures" North Korea is seeking in exchange for its denuclearization.

The US has said it will offer sanctions relief only after the North fully and verifiably dismantles its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

But the North has argued that it should be rewarded for steps taken so far, including the demolition of its nuclear testing site and the dismantling of some missile testing facilities.

There has been no announcement yet of the host city, although it has reportedly been narrowed down to Hanoi or Da Nang.

The State Department said Kim Hyok-chol is the special representative for US affairs of the State Affairs Commission, revealing his title for the first time.

Kim was appointed to the role recently after previously serving as Pyongyang's ambassador to Spain.

The North Korean leader's official title is chairman of the State Affairs Commission.