The U.S. State Department said Monday that Washington’s top nuclear envoy has no plan to have a bilateral meeting with his North Korean counterpart during an upcoming security forum of the six countries involved in the stalled negotiations over the denuclearization of North Korea.
In a regular briefing, U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. special representative for North Korea Policy Sung Kim has no plan to meet with North Korean foreign ministry’s deputy director for North American affairs Choe Son-hui in Beijing.
Choe, who also serves as the North’s deputy envoy for the six-party talks, arrived in Beijing on Monday to attend the Northeast Asia Cooperation Dialogue, which will kick off a two-day meeting on Wednesday.
Kirby said Kim’s participation in the dialogue is to meet “primarily with Chinese officials.”
The spokesman also said the dialogue is what’s known as the Track one-point-five Northeast Asia Cooperation Dialogue,” which he said is a well-established forum, adding that Washington officials have participated in the event regularly over the years.
Kim is expected to hold a bilateral meeting with China’s top nuclear envoy Wu Dawei during the dialogue.
As for the reasons the North sent a representative to the meeting, Kirby said it is up to Pyongyang to explain.
It is the first time in four years the North sent a representative to the dialogue.