A U.S. State Department official in charge of Korea affairs will travel to South Korea this week for discussions on North Korea and pending alliance issues, a government official here said Tuesday.
Mark Lambert, the department's Korea desk director and acting deputy assistant secretary, plans to arrive in Seoul on Wednesday and meet foreign ministry officials. They include Kim Tae-jin, head of the North American affair bureau, and Jeong Yeon-doo, director general for the North Korean nuclear issue.
Lambert is also expected to hold a roundtable meeting with South Korean businesspeople involved in inter-Korean economic projects.
His trip comes amid concern about slower-than-expected progress in efforts to denuclearize the North.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo failed to get a timetable for the communist nation's denuclearization in his latest visit to Pyongyang earlier this month.
Details of the North's planned repatriation of the remains of American service members killed in the 1950-53 Korean War remain unannounced.
Some observers also raise a question about international unity on U.N.-led sanctions on Pyongyang.
They have accused China and Russia of continuing to back the North, while the U.S. and South Korea have stated that there will be no sanctions relief until its complete denuclearization.
Seoul, however, is seeking a waiver of its punitive steps against Pyongyang aimed at maintaining the momentum of inter-Korean reconciliation via the resumption of limited cross-border programs. (yonhap)