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Top diplomats of Seoul, Washington to meet this Friday to talk N. Korea Updated: 2019-03-27 19:04:54 KST

Will South Korea and the U.S. find a way to make steps forward on North Korea diplomacy?
Seoul's foreign ministry says Minister Kang Kyung-wha and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will be meeting this Friday in Washington -- for the first time since the Kim-Trump summit last month.
They'll be discussing the developments since then.
Two weeks ago, Pyeongyang's Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui held a press conference and stressed that the North won't compromise unless the U.S. relents on seeking a "one-shot deal."
And just last week, the North unilaterally withdrew from the inter-Korean joint liaison office, this week sending back half the usual number of officials.
Also on the table in Washington will be when and how to resume negotiations with the North.

"I believe Kang and Pompeo will talk about whether the North is really willing to denuclearize and when they should resume negotiations and under what conditions. And the U.S. would be asking the Seoul government to persuade North Korea to denuclearize."

They could also take up the issues of sanctions and inter-Korean cooperation.
South Korea has long been hoping to resume inter-Korean projects like the joint factory park, the Gaeseong Industrial Complex, and South Korean tours to the North's Geumgang-san mountain.
But for now, pundits say, Washington will want to keep the pressure high.

"A month has passed since the Hanoi summit and North Korea-U.S. nuclear negotiations are facing a deadlock at the moment, with neither side budging. Eyes are on whether Seoul and Washington's top diplomats will be able to come up with a breakthrough measure for the stalled denuclearization talks and narrow down their differences on sanctions and inter-Korean cooperation.
Oh Jung-hee, Arirang News."
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