South Korea's chief nuclear envoy, Lee Do-hoon, embarked on a trip to Europe on Wednesday for talks with senior officials there over ongoing efforts for denuclearization and a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula, Seoul officials said.
Lee's trip to Belgium and Germany came as Seoul has been striving to secure global support for its push to bolster inter-Korean cooperation projects, such as individual tours to the communist state, and move forward stalled nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang.
During his stay in Brussels on Wednesday and Thursday, Lee will visit the EU headquarters to meet members of the EU Political and Security Committee and hold talks with Helga Schmid, the secretary general of the European External Action Service.
From Thursday through Saturday, he will be in Berlin for talks with Niels Annen, minister of state at Germany's Federal Foreign Office, and other officials.
To incentivize Pyongyang to return to the denuclearization track, Seoul has been trying to enhance inter-Korean cooperation through such projects as linking roads and railways across the border and turning the Demilitarized Zone into an international peace zone.
But anti-Pyongyang sanctions have gotten in the way of Seoul's push for those projects, with U.S. officials saying that inter-Korean cooperation efforts should proceed "in lockstep" with progress in the North's denuclearization.