SEOUL – The South Korean and American envoys for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula stressed on Friday the need to reach a peaceful solution to the North Korean crisis through increased diplomatic pressure on Pyongyang to negotiate.
South Korea’s Lee Do-hoon and Joseph Yun of the United States met on South Korea’s Jeju island, in the wake of the United States President Donald Trump’s Asia tour, during which he met with his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in.
“There is no doubt that both of the presidents want to find a peaceful way in regard to North Korea’s nuclear issue. So we discussed them and we agreed the pressure campaign has to be a central element,” said Yun at the end of the meeting, Yonhap News agency reported.
“We have been engaged with countries like China, Russia, as well as Japan and the EU, aimed at getting pressure on North Korea to have a meaningful and credible dialogue with us so that they can take steps towards denuclearization,” he added.
Asked about the visit of the head of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, Song Tao, to Pyongyang beginning Friday, Yun replied he hoped it would help advance the goal of a denuclearized North Korea.
Lee said he considered it to be a significant visit and that South Korea was closely monitoring developments.
Song and Pyongyang’s representatives are expected to discuss the current status of North Korea’s weapons program and the new sanctions imposed on the regime by the United Nations.
The visit comes during a hiatus in Pyongyang’s arms tests following a series of nuclear tests earlier this year.
“I hope that they will stop forever. But we had no communication from them so I don’t know whether to interpret it positively or not,” Yun said.