Seoul-Wash­ing­ton push ‘FFVD’ on NK

The Korea Times - - NATIONAL - By Kim Bo-eun [email protected]­re­atimes.co.kr

For­eign Min­is­ter Kang Kyung-wha and her U.S. coun­ter­part Mike Pom­peo agreed to hold close con­sul­ta­tions on re­al­iz­ing the goal of North Korea’s de­nu­cle­ariza­tion, in a meet­ing in Wash­ing­ton, Thurs­day (lo­cal time).

The U.S. De­part­ment of State said the min­is­ters “pledged to main­tain close co­or­di­na­tion to en­sure the fi­nal, fully ver­i­fied de­nu­cle­ariza­tion (FFVD) of North Korea” in a press re­lease.

The for­eign min­istry said the min­is­ters shared their views on the de­nu­cle­ariza­tion talks be­tween Py­ongyang and Wash­ing­ton, and progress in in­ter-Korean re­la­tions, while af­firm­ing the im­por­tance of stick­ing to sanc­tions on the North.

While Py­ongyang has called for sanc­tions to be eased as a cor­re­spond­ing mea­sure for tak­ing steps to aban­don its nu­clear pro­gram, Pres­i­dent Moon Jae-in and U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump af­firmed at their meet­ing held on the side­lines of the G20 sum­mit last week that sanc­tions would re­main in­tact un­til the North achieved com­plete de­nu­cle­ariza­tion.

Kang and Pom­peo are likely to have dis­cussed North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s pos­si­ble visit to Seoul this month, as well as plans for a se­cond sum­mit be­tween Kim and Trump.

The for­eign min­is­ter was in Wash­ing­ton to at­tend the fu­neral of for­mer U.S. Pres­i­dent Ge­orge H. W. Bush.

It was Kang and Pom­peo’s first meet­ing in two months af­ter one in Oc­to­ber that took place when Pom­peo vis­ited Seoul af­ter a high-level meet­ing in Py­ongyang.

Ac­cord­ing to the min­istry, the meet­ing also touched upon the on­go­ing bi­lat­eral talks on the Spe­cial Mea­sures Agree­ment, which cov­ers how much of the costs of sta­tion­ing U.S. troops here Seoul and Wash­ing­ton bear.

Mean­while, South Korea and the U.S. also held a video con­fer­ence meet­ing be­tween of­fi­cials of its work­ing group cov­er­ing North Korea, Fri­day.

The work­ing group led by Lee Do-hoon, spe­cial rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Korean Penin­sula Peace and Se­cu­rity Af­fairs, and his U.S. coun­ter­part Stephen Biegun, was launched last month for closer con­sul­ta­tions on in­ter-Korean re­la­tions and North Korea’s de­nu­cle­ariza­tion process.

Of­fi­cials ear­lier agreed to hold meet­ings twice a month. Af­ter their first last month, they held their first video con­fer­ence.

This was a work­ing-level meet­ing, in which Lee and Biegun did not take part. Of­fi­cials of the de­fense and uni­fi­ca­tion min­istries as well as Cheong Wa Dae were present, the min­istry said.

The meet­ing ad­dressed pend­ing is­sues in­clud­ing in­ter-Korean co­op­er­a­tion as well as North Korea’s de­nu­cle­ariza­tion, ac­cord­ing to the min­istry. Lee and Biegun are ex­pected to meet again this month. Py­ongyang’s de­nu­cle­ariza­tion process re­mains in a stale­mate, with high-level talks that were post­poned in Novem­ber still to be held.

Yon­hap

For­eign Min­is­ter Kang Kyung-wha shakes hands with her U.S. coun­ter­part Mike Pom­peo at the De­part­ment of State in Wash­ing­ton, Thurs­day (lo­cal time).

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