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U.S. intel chief pays courtesy call on President Moon Updated: 2021-05-15 09:06:39 KST


President Moon Jae-in met with U.S. National Intelligence Director Avril Haines on Friday ahead of his summit next week with President Joe Biden in Washington.
South Korea's top office said that the two had in-depth discussions on pending bilateral issues and North Korea.
President Moon said that the two countries share universal values such as democracy, human rights and peace, and that bilateral cooperation on intelligence will develop further.
Haines said that the alliance is about more than just security, and said she respects Moon's efforts for human rights and peace.

The U.S. intel chief's visit to South Korea is widely seen as a means of understanding the situation on the Korean Peninsula and seeing Seoul's perspective on the North Korea issue.
In particular, it comes after the U.S. completed its policy review on Pyeongyang, having decided to take a calibrated, practical approach that is open to exploring diplomacy with North Korea for complete denuclearization.

"How she assesses the situation is very important for the U.S. government to devise a new policy toward North Korea. Even though the U.S. government mentioned that their review is complete, their detailed policy has not been revealed yet. I think her visit to the DMZ and Seoul this time would provide another level of information for the U.S. to use to provide a new approach to North Korea."

Earlier on Friday, Haines reportedly had a luncheon meeting with her South Korean counterpart Park Jie-won to discuss bilateral cooperation in exchanging North Korea-related intelligence.
This comes just two days after their talks in Tokyo on Wednesday, which also involved Japan.
On Thursday, Haines visited the Demilitarized Zone and met with officials at Seoul's Defense Intelligence Agency.
She is also known to have met with Seoul's National Security Advisor Suh Hoon who has experience in negotiating with North Korea.
Haines wrapped up her three-day stay in South Korea on Friday.
Kim Min-ji, Arirang News.
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