Unification minister to visit United States this week

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Unification minister to visit United States this week

Minister of Unification Yu Woo-ik will visit the United States later this week to share views on inter-Korean relations and North Korea’s nuclear weapons programs, the ministry said yesterday.

Yu took office last month on a pledge to exercise flexibility toward the provocative northern neighbor, signaling a shift in tense inter-Korean relations that followed the North’s two attacks on the South last year.

As Seoul’s point man on Pyongyang, Yu will visit Washington and New York for six days starting on Wednesday, during which he plans to meet with officials from the U.S. government and Congress, the ministry said. He is expected to explain his vision for North Korean policy and discuss issues related to the Korean Peninsula.

Yu’s visit comes shortly after the United States and North Korea completed two rounds of high-level meetings on ways to resume the stalled six-party talks on ending the North’s nuclear weapons programs. No major breakthroughs were reported, but Yu’s visit is widely expected to spur further coordination between Seoul and Washington on their joint stance toward Pyongyang.

On Saturday, Yu is scheduled to meet with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to discuss humanitarian and other issues related to North Korea and the Korean Peninsula, the ministry said.

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