US Special Envoy Holds Talks With South Korean Official in Seoul - Reports

© AP Photo / Ahn Young-joonPeople watch a TV screen reporting that North Korea will dismantle nuke test site during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, May 13, 2018
People watch a TV screen reporting that North Korea will dismantle nuke test site during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, May 13, 2018 - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun held talks on Sunday with South Korean Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Lee Do-hoon, local media reported, citing the South Korean Foreign Ministry.

Biegun arrived in Seoul earlier in the day to first meet with South Korea’s envoy, while a meeting with North Korea’s envoy Kim Hyok Chol will take place on Tuesday at the border village of Panmunjom or in Pyongyang, the Yonhap news agency reported.

The talks between Biegun and Lee were focused on the upcoming summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, according to the media outlet.

The US leader said Thursday that he would announce the date and location of the new summit with Kim next week. The meetings are expected to prepare grounds for the new summit between Trump and Kim that is expected to take place in late February.

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Lee Mi-Seon, a director of the National Earthquake and Volcano Center, shows a map of a North Korean location during a briefing about the artificial earthquake in North Korea, at the Korea Meteorological Administration in Seoul on September 3, 2017 - Sputnik International
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Pyongyang has been subject to numerous Washington's and UN sanctions over the past 10 years for its nuclear and ballistic missile tests. The sanctions target North Korea's exports of natural resources, such as coal, imports of weapons, oil, petroleum products and any financial and material support that could contribute to the development of the country's missile or nuclear programs. Moreover, Tokyo has repeatedly claimed that it allegedly witnessed suspicious ship-to-ship transfers of goods to North Korea that may be coming in violation of the UN sanctions.

However, the situation on the Korean Peninsula has improved since beginning of 2018 during which time North and South Korea concluded important agreements.

READ MORE: US-North Korea Summit Scheduled for Late February — White House

In early January, Trump told reporters that the negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang were going well, adding that the parties were also discussing the venue for a second US-North Korea summit. The Korean nuclear stockpile will be the main focus of an upcoming summit.

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un participate in a signing ceremony during a meeting on Sentosa Island, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Singapore - Sputnik International
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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said he had expected that more progress would be made along the way toward achieving the full denuclearization.

The first historic talks between Trump and Kim took place in Singapore last June. The two leaders concluded an agreement stipulating that North Korea would make efforts to promote the complete denuclearization of the peninsula in exchange for the United States and South Korea freezing their military exercise and a potential lifting of US sanctions.

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