The U.S. point man on North Korea, Stephen Biegun, says the U.S. and South Korea will continue to fully engage in close cooperation to make progress toward peace on the Korean Peninsula this year.
But he clarified that the U.S. has not requested a visit with North Koreans, putting to rest speculation that the two sides might meet at Panmunjeom.
"When Chairman Kim appoints a counterpart to me, who is prepared and empowered to negotiate on these issues, they will find us ready at that very moment. We look forward to continuing our work on peaceful outcome on the Korean peninsula."
Ahead of Biegun's trip to Seoul, the North had twice released statements saying that it is not willing to hold talks with the U.S.
Biegun added that his guidance related to North Korean matters comes from the conclusion of previous summits between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un not from the North Korean vice foreign minister Choe Sun-hui and not from President Trump's former adviser, John Bolton.
Biegun's counterpart in South Korea, Lee Do-hoon, who is special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, said that in his meeting with Biegun today, they looked for ways to resume dialogue with Pyeongyang.
"South Korea and the U.S. emphasized the need to put all efforts into resuming talks with the North. Deputy Secretary of State Biegun said the U.S. is willing to take a flexible approach in reaching a balanced agreement with the North when talks resume."
During their meeting, Biegun promised strong support from the U.S. in regards to inter-Korean cooperation as they believe it plays an important component in creating a more stable environment on the Korean Peninsula.
Hong Yoo, Arirang News.