Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Rapper I-NZ's 'This is Iraq': When music gets political

Read more

FOCUS

Even in Kenya, exiled Burundians fear for their lives

Read more

ENCORE!

Film show: 'The Sisters Brothers' and 'Leave No Trace'

Read more

IN THE PRESS

Stormy Daniels's X-rated book attacks Trump's presidency - and manhood

Read more

PERSPECTIVE

Polar explorer Sebastian Copeland on the 'urgency' of climate change awareness

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US-China trade war deepens as Beijing calls for global support

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Amnesty warns of 'horrific' violence in Cameroon's anglophone regions

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Maduro: Let them eat steak

Read more

THE DEBATE

Syria: What's the deal? Russia, Turkey agree to Idlib buffer zone

Read more

Asia-pacific

South Korea to send 'special envoys' to North Korea to push for nuclear talks with US

© YONHAP / AFP | South Korea's President Moon Jae-in (R) shakes hands with North Korea's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam (L) before their meeting at the presidential Blue House in Seoul on February 10, 2018

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2018-03-04

South Korean President Moon Jae-in will send a team of special envoys -- including Seoul's spy chief -- to the North on Monday to push for talks between Washington and Pyongyang on nuclear weapons.

The delegation, announced by Moon's office on Sunday, is the latest chapter in a remarkable Olympics-driven detente between the two Koreas.

An intense rapprochement saw the two foes march together at the South's Pyeongchang Winter Olympics that ended February 25, with the North's leader Kim Jong Un sending his sister as a special envoy to the event.

Kim Yo Jong's appearance at the Games' opening ceremony made global headlines, marking the first visit to the South by a member of the Kim family since the end of the Korean war.

Moon has sought to use the Pyeongchang Games to open dialogue between the US and the North in the hopes of easing a nuclear standoff that has heightened fears over global security.

He chose five top officials -- including top national security advisor Chung Eui-yong and spy chief Suh Hoon -- to visit Pyongyang on Monday, Moon's spokesman said.

"The special delegates will have extensive discussions over issues including creating conditions for North-US talks to denuclearise the Korean peninsula and improving inter-Korea ties," Yoon Young-chan told reporters.

The 10-member group -- five top delegates and five supporting officials -- would fly to the North's capital Pyongyang on Monday afternoon before returning on Tuesday, Yoon said.

The delegation will then fly to the US to explain the result of the talks to officials in Washington, he added.

Suh is a veteran in dealings with the North. He is known to have been deeply involved in negotiations to arrange two previous inter-Korea summits in 2000 and 2007.

The isolated, impoverished North staged its most powerful nuclear test and test-fired multiple missiles last year, including some capable of hitting the US mainland, in defiance of UN sanctions.

The North's leader Kim and US President Donald Trump have also traded threats of war and personal insults, sending tensions soaring.

Moon, who advocates dialogue with the nuclear-armed regime, said last week that Washington needs to "lower the threshold for talks" with Pyongyang.

But the US has ruled out any possibility of talks before the North takes steps towards denuclearisation, and imposed what Trump hailed as the "toughest ever" sanctions on Kim's regime late last month.

On Saturday, a foreign ministry spokesman in Pyongyang called on the US drop any preconditions for talks.

"The US is taking preposterous action by continuing to trumpet an insistence that it will not have dialogue unless a right condition is met," the unnamed spokesman was quoted as saying by the state-run KCNA news agency.

(AFP)

Date created : 2018-03-04

  • NORTH KOREA - SOUTH KOREA

    N.Korean leader invites S.Korea's Moon to the North

    Read more

  • NORTH KOREA - SOUTH KOREA

    Kim Jong Un praises South Korea's 'impressive and sincere' Olympic welcome

    Read more

  • NORTH KOREA - SOUTH KOREA

    S. Korea president says open to meeting with North's Kim Jong-Un

    Read more

COMMENT(S)