December 05, 2011 12:19
Three groups of senior U.S. officials are visiting Seoul this week to discuss foreign policy issues.
Robert Einhorn, a State Department adviser for non-proliferation and arms control who deals mainly with sanctions on North Korea and Iran, is arriving Monday. He is expected to urge Seoul to join sanctions against Iran, a diplomatic source said.
The U.S. wants South Korea to suspend oil imports from Iran over claims that the country, Washington's current bête noire, is developing nuclear weapons.
Glyn Davies, the U.S. special representative for North Korea policy, arrives Wednesday for talks with chief South Korean nuclear negotiator Lim Sung-nam. Davies will be accompanied by chief U.S. nuclear negotiator Clifford Hart. This will be the first visit by the U.S.' new North Korea policy team after the previous top negotiator, Sung Kim, became ambassador to Seoul.
Davies was a deputy assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific affairs from 2007 to June 2009 and has dealt non-proliferation issues since the Reagan administration, working at one time as ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency. Observers believe he will tackle the matter more decisively than his predecessor Stephen Bosworth, who held the job part-time.
Derek Mitchell, the U.S. special envoy to Burma, arrives in Seoul on Thursday to brief government officials here on the background of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's historic visit to the junta-ruled country last week.
A North Korea expert, Mitchell was also a deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asian and Pacific affairs. He is expected to ask Seoul, which has some influence in Burma due to its supply of aid, to help pressure Naypyidaw to sever illicit ties with Pyongyang.
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