N. Korea’s top nuclear envoy in Stockholm for working-level talks with U.S.

By | October 4, 2019

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Our top story this morning…
North Korea’s chief nuclear envoy negotiator has voiced “high expectations and optimism” for the regime’s upcoming working-level nuclear talks with the U.S. in the Swedish capital, Stockholm.
This comes as U.S. President Donald Trump brushed off North Korea’s latest test fire of a submarine-launched ballistic missile,… saying the talks with Pyeongyang will continue as planned.
Lee Seung-jae reports.
North Korea’s top nuclear negotiator Kim Myong-gil and his delegation arrived in Stockholm on Thursday ahead of this weekend’s working-level denuclearization negotiations with the U.S.
They arrived at Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport at around 5:40PM, local time, on a flight from Beijing.
Before his arrival in Sweden,… the North Korean envoy said he was optimistic the talks will go well.
“North Korea and the U.S. will hold working-level talks. With the new signal from the U.S., we head to Sweden with great anticipation and optimism.”
The two sides are set to have a preliminary contact on Friday before holding the working-level talks on Saturday.
The U.S. Special Representative for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, will lead Washington’s delegation.
The two sides are expected to focus on trying to find common ground between U.S. demands for the regime’s complete and verified denuclearization and the North’s demands for sanctions relief and security guarantees.
With North Korea’s firing of a submarine-launched ballistic missile in the East Sea this week,… there were concerns the test could derail the upcoming working-level talks.
However, President Trump on Thursday downplayed the firing,… saying the North wants to talk and the U.S. “will be talking to them”.
All eyes are on the first round of formal negotiations between the two sides since the second North Korea-U.S. summit ended early in Hanoi in February.
Focus is also on whether President Trump’s previously-touted “new method” will give the negotiations some momentum and possibly lay the groundwork for a third summit.
Lee Seung-jae, Arirang News.

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