Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul on Wednesday stressed that a third North Korea-U.S. summit is likely to lead to substantial steps toward denuclearization.
In a keynote speech at a forum hosted by the ministry in Seoul, Kim emphasized the importance of working-level talks to ensure a third meeting takes place between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
The minister said that "now is the time for all-out efforts."
Referring to upcoming summits among East Asian states and the U.S., the minister said creating an environment for a successful Trump-Kim summit is the most crucial objective.
While conceding a top-down approach to negotiations has its merits, Minister Kim said he believes working-level talks at various levels should be pursued at the same time in order to narrow differences between opposing sides.
Chinese President Xi Jinping will travel to Pyongyang on Thursday, kicking off a number of top-level meetings scheduled at the end of June that include the G20 forum and a South Korea-U.S. summit in Seoul.