Anchor: The top nuclear envoys of South Korea and the United States sent messages to North Korea, aiming to rekindle the stalled nuclear dialogue. Their speeches at a forum in the U.S. came ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping's meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Kim Bum-soo has more.
[Sound bite: Atlantic Council forum (June 19 / Washington DC)]
Stephen Biegun: "We have every expectation that President Xi will continue to send constructive, appropriate messages during his meeting over the course of the next two days in Pyongyang."
Lee Do-hoon: "I perfectly agree with Steve. I feel great hope for the best outcome for the future negotiations for denuclearization."
Ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping's two-day trip to North Korea, the top nuclear envoys of Seoul and Washington urged Pyongyang to restart stalled nuclear dialogue.
[Sound bite: Lee Do-hoon - S. Korean Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs (English)]
"My government also stands ready to do what needs to be done. In this regard, I urge North Korea to respond to President Moon's outstanding invitation to hold an inter-Korean summit if possible before President Trump visits Korea next week."
Speaking at a forum organized by the Washington-based think tank Atlantic Council on Wednesday, Seoul's chief nuclear negotiator Lee Do-hoon also stressed that sanctions are not magical solutions but only a means to achieve denuclearization.
U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun, for his part, refrained from highlighting the maximum pressure campaign.
[Sound bite: Stephen Biegun - US Special Representative for N. Korea]
"I also want to emphasize that the door is wide open to negotiations and we expect and hope that in the not-too-distant future we will be reengaged in this process in a substantive way. President Trump has said on a number of occasions that he has full confidence that Chairman Kim will fulfill the commitments he made to the president in Singapore."
Seoul and Washington have been unable to hold full-fledged negotiations with Pyongyang since the second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un collapsed in February.
Four months after the failure in Hanoi, some analysts now suggest that Kim could send a new denuclearization proposal to Trump via the Chinese president, who is scheduled to meet Trump at the upcoming G20 summit next week.
Trump is visiting Seoul after the G20 gathering. Seoul's special presidential adviser, Moon Chung-in, who also attended the forum in Washington, said another inter-Korean summit should be held at the truce village of Panmunjeom before Trump meets Moon.
[Sound bite: Moon Chung-in - Special Security Adviser to President Moon Jae-in (Korean)]
"That way, the upcoming South Korea-U.S. summit will be [more] meaningful. So I think the North should [participate in] inter-Korean talks before President Trump's visit to South Korea."
He said that if Xi makes things work, it would be a great gift to Trump at the G20 summit.
Kim Bum-soo, KBS World Radio News.