The Civilian Sentinel

South Korean Officials to Visit Pyongyang for Talks

SEOUL—South Korea said that it would send its top national security adviser to Pyongyang this week to discuss ways to facilitate dialogue between the U.S. and North Korea on denuclearization, pushing forward engagement even as the U.S. remains wary of talking to the nuclear-armed state.

Chung Eui-yong, the head of the South’s National Security Council, and Suh Hoon, Seoul’s top intelligence official, will lead a ten-member delegation to Pyongyang for a two-day trip beginning Monday, Yoon Young-chan, a spokesman for the presidential office in Seoul, said Sunday.

The special envoys are expected to open discussions for a possible summit meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who extended an invitation last month for Mr. Moon to visit Pyongyang.

Immediately following the trip to Pyongyang, the South Korean officials will travel to the U.S. for meetings to debrief their counterparts in Washington, Mr. Yoon said.

Even as the South’s first left-leaning administration in nearly a decade pushes for more engagement with the North, it remains unclear whether any inter-Korean dialogue would lead to serious negotiations aimed at dismantling North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, as the U.S. has demanded.

The two Koreas have held a series of talks since early January, when Mr. Kim suggested in his new year address that he would be interested in sending a North Korean delegation to the Pyeongchang Olympics in South Korea.

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