US envoy ready for ‘constructive’ talks with North Korea

US envoy ready for 'constructive' talks with North Korea
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The U.S. envoy to North Korea officially reaffirmed the Trump administration’s desire for future talks with the country’s leader, , over nuclear disarmament.

The Associated Press reported Friday that the Trump administration’s top official on North Korea during a visit to Seoul on Friday indicated that the U.S. is eager to reach an agreement with North Korea beyond an initial framework and Kim agreed on last year.

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Stephen Biegun, the envoy, expressed the desire Friday for “constructive” talks with North Korean officials, adding that commitments could be made to implement provisions agreed upon during a previous summit “simultaneously and in parallel.”

One analyst with the Korea Institute for National Reunification told the AP that the comments were a sign of progress between the two sides after talks appeared to deadlock. The U.S. has sought more steps on denuclearization from Pyongyang, while North Korea wants Trump to first lift sanctions.

“The U.S. doesn’t intend to lift the sanctions while the only [denuclearization] step North Korea wants to take now is Yongbyon’s dismantling,” the analyst told the AP, referring to a North Korean nuclear test site. “Their [ideas] are coming into conflict with each other.”

A second summit between Trump and Kim ended earlier this year without an agreement between the two leaders, bringing to halt the progress the two made after their first meeting.

Trump is currently in Japan for a meeting of the Group of 20 nations, where policy relating to North Korea is likely to be discussed with top allies in the region.

Written by Alan Smith

Alan Smith

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