US special representative for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Stephen Biegun, left, shakes hands with the Republic of Korea's Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Lee Do-hoon during a meeting to discuss DPRK nuclear issues at the Foreign Ministry in Seoul, Oct 29, 2018. (AP PHOTO / AHN YOUNG-JOON, POOL)
SEOUL — The top US envoy for the Democratic People’s Republic Korea (DPRK) has expressed confidence about achieving DPRK’s nuclear disarmament.
There are worries about the slow pace of nuclear diplomacy since US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's fourth trip to Pyongyang earlier this month.
Biegun said he's "absolutely confident" that "the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea" is "within the reach"
Stephen Biegun, the US special representative for the DPRK, was in Seoul on Monday to meet with officials of the Republic of Korea (ROK).
During the talks with his ROK counterpart Lee Do-hoon, Biegun said his country and ROK had a shared goal of bringing an end to 70 years of war and hostilities on the peninsula and of achieving the final, fully-verified denuclearization of the peninsula, according to local media reports.
Biegun said he's "absolutely confident" that "the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea" is "within the reach."
The DPRK is also referred to as North Korea.
Lee said "denuclearization process is at a critical juncture and we need to meet up as often as possible."
The DPRK has taken some measures like dismantling his nuclear testing sites, but the United States wants the DPRK to take more significant steps toward denuclearization.
The Republic of Korea's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha (right) talks with US special representative for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Stephen Biegun during a meeting to discuss DPRK's nuclear issues at the foreign ministry in Seoul, Oct 29, 2018. (AHN YOUNG-JOON / POOL / AFP)
ROK foreign minister, Biegun talk about denuke, peace settlement on peninsula
Earlier in the day, ROK's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha talked with Biegun about denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the settlement of lasting peace, ROK's foreign ministry said.
Kang and Biegun discussed ways to completely denuclearize the peninsula and settle the permanent peace, sharing recent progress in the inter-Korean relations and the follow-up negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington.
The top ROK diplomat stressed that the stronger dialogue momentum, caused by the Pyongyang summit in September between the two Koreas and Pompeo's recent visit to Pyongyang, should lead to effective progress in the denuclearization and the lasting peace settlement.
Kang proposed continued coordination between Seoul and Washington for concrete ways on the issues, which the senior US diplomat actively agreed to, according to the ministry.
Biegun promised to make further efforts to strengthen communications and cooperation between the two allies in the process of denuclearization and the improvement in inter-Korean relations, saying the past consultation between Seoul and Washington had been very significant in the US-DPRK negotiations.
Biegun arrived in ROK on Sunday for a three-day visit. He would reportedly meet with ROK's Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon and officials of the presidential Blue House during his stay.
HONG KONG NEWS