US nuclear envoy visits S.Korea amid N.Korea missile tension, stalled talks

Pyongyang so far has rejected US overtures.  — Reuters pic
Pyongyang so far has rejected US overtures. — Reuters pic

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SEOUL, Oct 23 — The US envoy for North Korea arrived in South Korea today amid stalled denuclearisation talks and tension over Pyongyang’s recent missile tests.

Special Representative Sung Kim’s visit came days after North Korea fired a new submarine-launched ballistic missile, which prompted criticism from Washington and calls for a return to talks aimed at denuclearising the North in return for US sanctions relief.

Kim, after talks in Washington with South Korean and Japanese counterparts on Tuesday, urged North Korea “to refrain from further provocations and engage in sustained and substantive dialogue.”

Pyongyang so far has rejected US overtures, accusing the United States and South Korea of talking diplomacy while ratcheting up tensions with their own military activities.

On Thursday, the North said the United States was overreacting to its self-defensive SLBM test and questioned the sincerity of Washington’s offers of talks, warning of consequences.

Arriving in South Korea, Kim said he looks forward to having “productive follow up discussions” with his counterpart, without elaborating. (Reporting by Hyonhee Shin; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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