Kaesong liaison office may be reconsidered

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Kaesong liaison office may be reconsidered

South Korea will re-evaluate opening a joint liaison office with North Korea, a presidential official said Monday, indicating a possible delay amid an apparent stumbling block in U.S.-North Korea talks on ending North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.

The remarks came three days after U.S. President Donald Trump called off a scheduled trip by his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to the North.

“The opening of the liaison office had been planned under smooth progress [in denuclearization efforts], such as Pompeo’s North Korea trip and the South-North Korea summit, but we believe there is a need to once again review the issue, since a new development has emerged,” Blue House spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said at a daily press briefing. The liaison office was expected to be opened as early as this month. The proposed office comes under an agreement reached by South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un when they first met in the border village of Panmunjom on April 27.

Moon and Kim are set to meet again next month in Pyongyang, which would mark their third bilateral summit since Moon took office in May 2017. The Blue House spokesman noted that the North may also wish to reconsider opening a joint liaison office with Seoul.

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