South Korea and the United States will have senior-level discussions on North Korea this week, Seoul's foreign ministry said on Dec. 18, 2018, as the two Koreas plan to hold a groundbreaking ceremony for their railway and road project next week.
Stephen Biegun, the U.S. special representative on North Korea policy, is scheduled to visit South Korea from Dec. 19, 2018 till Dec. 22, 2018.
He will hold talks with his South Korean counterpart, Lee Do-hoon, on Dec. 20, 2018, followed by the second round of working group meetings, in which officials from the White House and South Korea's presidential office and unification ministry will participate.
In the session, the allies will closely coordinate various issues related to North Korea, including inter-Korean relations, and coordinate strategies for "substantive progress" in efforts toward denuclearization and a peace regime, the ministry added.
The meetings come amid growing concern about a drawn-out lull in denuclearization talks between Pyongyang and Washington.
South Korea has endeavored to receive a waiver from U.S. and U.N. sanctions on Pyongyang for inter-Korean cooperation.
The two Koreas will hold a highly symbolic ceremony to formally start work to modernize and reconnect the cross-border roads and railway tracks at Panmun Station in North Korea on Wednesday.
The ceremony itself is not subject to the sanctions but South Korea needs prior consultations with the U.S. on the shipment of some materials to be used at the event. (Yonhap)