Pyongyang seeks U.S. visa for nuclear envoy

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Pyongyang seeks U.S. visa for nuclear envoy

WASHINGTON - The United States has received inquiries about granting a visa to North Korea’s chief nuclear envoy, Kim Gye-gwan, for an academic seminar in New York this month, the U.S. State Department said Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters, spokesman Philip Crowley said, “There has been discussion about an invitation for him to come to the United States, private invitation. I think there have been inquiries about providing him a visa. We’ve made no decision on that.”

Reports said that Kim will visit New York next week for another meeting with Sung Kim, special U.S. envoy for the six-party talks, on the sidelines of a seminar. The goal of the meeting would be to facilitate the reopening of the six-party talks on the North’s denuclearization, which Pyongyang has boycotted due to UN sanctions for its nuclear and missile tests.

The first high-level bilateral meeting under the Obama administration was in December, when Stephen Bosworth, special representative for North Korea policy, visited Pyongyang. The North has called for the lifting of sanctions before the nuclear talks restart.

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