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US envoy visits ROK to discuss DPRK issue

Updated: 2014-01-26 20:04
( Xinhua)

US envoy visits ROK to discuss DPRK issue

US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel (L) shakes hands with his South Korean counterpart Lee Kyung-soo during their meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Seoul January 26, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]

SEOUL - Top US diplomat for East Asian affairs visited South Korea on Sunday to discuss issues on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) after the two Koreas agreed to hold reunion of separated families.

Daniel Russel, assistant secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, who accompanied deputy Secretary of State William Burns during his trip to China and Japan, met in Seoul with South Korean deputy Foreign Minister Lee Kyung-soo.

Russel reportedly explained Lee about the results of Burns' travel to China and Japan, while having an in-depth discussion on the DPRK issue, according to local media reports.

After the meeting, the US diplomat told reporters that his visit was part of intensive consultations between Seoul and Washington on important issues related to the DPRK.

The two allies had strengthened consultations on the DPRK issue since South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se agreed with his US counterpart on it during his trip to Washington on January 7.

Burns visited Seoul on January 21 before Russel's travel to the country. Glyn Davies, US special representative for the DPRK policy, was scheduled to come here on January 29 to have a meeting with Cho Tae-yong who represents South Korea at the six-party talks.

The six-party talks, the aid-for-denuclearization dialogue including the two Koreas, the United States, China, Japan and Russia, have been suspended since late 2008. Seoul and Washington have demanded Pyongyang to show its sincerity towards the denuclearization before resuming the multilateral dialogue.

The DPRK proposed Friday to South Korea to hold reunion of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War in its scenic resort of Mount Kumgang at any date of South Korea's convenience after the Lunar New Year's holiday.

Pyongyang recently reiterated its peace call to Seoul, saying that the two Koreas should stop all hostile acts from January 30 on the eve of the Lunar New Year.

Despite the looming dialogue mood, cautions remained as South Korea and the United States are set to conduct the annual joint military drills from late February to April. The DPRK denounced it as a rehearsal to the northward invasion.

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