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U.S. envoy Bosworth meets officials here before leaving for North talks

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Dec 08,2009
Stephen Bosworth, the special U.S. envoy to North Korea who is scheduled to fly to Pyongyang today, met with South Korean officials in Seoul yesterday to discuss the agenda for his North Korean visit.

Bosworth, who arrived in Seoul Sunday, met with South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan early in the day and then sat down with Wi Sung-lac, the South’s chief nuclear negotiator at the six-party talks.

Bosworth later had a luncheon meeting with Kim Sung-hwan, Blue House senior secretary for foreign affairs and security. He is to depart for Pyongyang this morning.

Details of these behind-closed-doors meetings were not disclosed. But at the beginning of his session with Wi, Bosworth said his delegation had “intended” to make a stopover in Seoul before going to Pyongyang to show the United States is in close coordination with South Korea.

As the first U.S. envoy to visit Pyongyang under the Obama administration, Bosworth will meet Kang Sok-ju, first vice foreign minister, and will press North Korea to return to the stalled six-party talks and to reaffirm its commitments to the Sept. 19, 2005, joint statement. Signed at the six-party talks, in the joint statement North Korea “committed to abandoning all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs” and returning to the nuclear nonproliferation treaty.

North Korea has said it would only return to the six-party table depending on the progress during U.S.-North Korea talks. The North has also demanded that the United States sign an exclusive peace treaty with Pyongyang to replace the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War. South Korea has rejected that proposition.

Bosworth will return to Seoul Thursday to debrief the South Korean officials on his Pyongyang visit. He will then travel to meet other six-party dialogue partners - in Beijing on Friday, Tokyo on Saturday and Moscow on Sunday - before returning to Washington.


By Yoo Jee-ho [jeeho@joongang.co.kr]



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