Seoul, Washington discuss strategies for dialogue with Pyongyang

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Seoul, June 29 (IANS) South Korea’s Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke on Friday on telephone to discuss strategies for North Korean denuclearisation.

According to a statement from the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the two diplomats had a half-hour phone conversation, during which Pompeo briefed Kang on the preparations for his upcoming negotiations with North Korea about its nuclear programme following the US-North Korea summit in Singapore on June 12, reports Efe news.

US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un signed an agreement in Singapore, in which North Korea pledged to work towards its “complete denuclearization” in exchange for Washington guaranteeing its security.

This marks the fourth time that the two top diplomatic officials have talked since the summit in Singapore.

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Kang updated Pompeo on the outcome of the South Korea-Russia summit held last week in Moscow between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

Moscow has played a major role in previous negotiations on the denuclearization of the North Korea regime, and Seoul has highlighted the cooperation of Russia as a basic factor in achieving a peaceful conflict settlement on the peninsula.

Kang also briefed Pompeo on the latest progress in inter-Korean relations.

The two top diplomatic officials held the telephone conversation just before Pompeo’s expected visit to Pyongyang next week, which still needs to be officially confirmed by the White House.

Pompeo’s trip to Pyongyang is expected to address the conditions and deadlines for Pyongyang’s denuclearization process, as the US-North Korea joint declaration signed in Singapore does not include a specific roadmap or deadline for the issue.

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–IANS

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