South Korea's top nuclear envoy left Tuesday for the United States to discuss ways to maintain momentum in efforts to denuclearize North Korea following a no-deal Hanoi summit.
Lee Do-hoon, special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, said he plans to meet with his American counterpart, Stephen Biegun, and other officials in Washington, D.C.
"In the process, (we) plan to analyze the outcome of the North Korea-U.S. summit in Hanoi, solidifying coordination between South Korea and the U.S., and consult on what to do going forward," he told reporters at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, shortly before departure.
Concern has grown that the denuclearization talks will lose steam, as the second summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump concluded without any agreement.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in stated that his administration will try to play an active mediating role again between Pyongyang and Washington.
A government-civilian forum, known as Track II diplomacy, among the Koreas and the U.S. is cited as a realistic option to help kick-start denuclearization talks.
The three nations' senior officials had a gathering in Sweden in January on the sidelines of an international security forum joined by civilian experts.
Lee, however, said it's too early to speak publicly about any related specific plan.
He was also guarded about whether he believes inter-Korean economic cooperation will be able to serve as a catalyst for Pyongyang-Washington discussions.
He is scheduled to stay in the U.S. capital through Thursday.(Yonhap)
Shin Jin-seon firstname.lastname@example.org
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