Tue, Aug 04, 2009 - Page 5 News List

S Korean envoy to meet US officials over North

AP , SEOUL

South Korea’s nuclear envoy will meet key US diplomats in charge of North Korea policy in Hawaii this week to talk about how to handle the communist country in the wake of its latest nuclear and missile tests, his office said yesterday.

Envoy Wi Sung-lac plans to meet US special envoy Stephen Bosworth and Ambassador Sung Kim, a US State Department official in charge of ongoing nuclear talks on North Korea, today and tomorrow.

Their discussions will be a brainstorming session aimed at finding ways forward, the South Korean Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Pyongyang has said it won’t return to the six-nation talks, but it has strongly indicated it is interested in one-on-one negotiations with Washington.

The six-nation talks bring together China, Japan, the two Koreas, Russia and the US.

The US says it can talk bilaterally with North Korea, but only within the six-nation framework.

As a way to pressure North Korea to return to the negotiating table, Washington has been seeking international support for strict enforcement of a UN sanctions resolution adopted to punish the country for its May 25 nuclear test.

North Korea has rapidly escalated tensions this year.

It conducted a long-range rocket launch, quit six-nation talks on ending its nuclear program, restarted its nuclear facilities, carried out its second-ever nuclear test and test-fired a series of ballistic missiles.

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