February 11, 2020 13:48
South Korea and the U.S. met to discuss North Korean issues in Seoul on Monday, especially President Moon Jae-in's offers to the North of economic cooperation that might bypass international sanctions.
The meeting had been requested by the U.S. as a follow-up to a meeting in Washington last month between the U.S.' North Korea point man Stephen Biegun and Lee Do-hoon, South Korea's chief nuclear negotiator.
This time Alex Wong, the U.S. deputy special representative for North Korea, led the U.S. delegation to meet his counterpart Rhee Dong-yeol, a director genera at the Foreign Ministry.
The U.S. officials asked questions about President Moon Jae-in's proposals to North Korea in his New Year's address in January, which included boosting individual tourism to the crackpot country, reconnecting inter-Korean railways and roads, and turning the demilitarized zone into a "peace zone."
"We explained that this meant allowing members of separated families to go on individual tours on a trial basis," a government source here said. "The U.S. delegation reiterated that Washington supports inter-Korean talks but they must should proceed in keeping with the denuclearization process," which requires adhering to global sanctions against the North.
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