US envoy visits Seoul ahead of deadline for North Korea talks

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — South Korea and the United States said on Friday that US special envoy Stephen Pigeon to North Korea will arrive in Seoul on Sunday before Pyongyang’s deadline for Washington by the end of the year to soften its stance on stalled nuclear talks.

The South Korean Foreign Ministry said on Friday that Pigeon will arrive in Seoul for a three-day visit, during which he will hold talks with his counterpart Lee Do-hoon and other officials.

“The two sides will exchange views in detail on the recent situation on the Korean peninsula, and will discuss ways to make concrete progress regarding complete nuclear disarmament and achieving lasting peace,” the ministry said in a statement.

The US State Department said Pigeon would also go to Tokyo and meet his Japanese counterpart.

Tensions have increased in recent weeks after Pyongyang conducted a series of weapons tests and entered a war of words with US President Donald Trump, raising fears that the two countries might return to the collision path they were on before they began diplomatic efforts last year.

Pigeon’s visit sparked speculation that he might try to salvage the negotiations by communicating with North Korea or sending a public message.

North Korea has pledged to follow a “new path” that it did not specify if the United States did not fulfill its demands before the end of the year.

On Thursday, she said, Washington had “nothing to offer” even if the talks resumed and the United States warned of any resumption of behavior.

Unfortunate mindless.

“In any case, Pigeon will try to give the impression that they will not be manipulated by the North Koreans while he makes clear that they want to continue the dialogue,” said a diplomatic source in Seoul, who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Trump have met three times since last year to negotiate an end to Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs, but little progress has been made with the collapse of Pigeon-led talks on a practical level in Stockholm in October.

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