Top nuclear envoys from North and South Korea emerged smiling from a face-to-face meeting Friday, saying they were ready to work together to resume stalled disarmament talks.
The meeting was the first between envoys from the two nations since 2008, when international efforts to end Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program collapsed, and the announcement was certain to be welcomed in regional capitals and Washington.
South and North Korea’s top nuclear envoys met Friday in what diplomats said could be an attempt to revive stalled six-nation talks aimed at ending the North’s nuclear weapons program, media reports said.
North Korea’s Ri Yong Ho and South Korea’s Wi Sung Lac held talks ahead of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum, the Asia-Pacific’s largest security forum, in Bali, Indonesia, the Yonhap News Agency reported, citing South Korean diplomatic sources.
North Korea has held talks with the South during Asia’s largest security gathering and named a new envoy to to take part in stalled disarmament discussions.
The top nuclear envoys of the two Koreas met on the sidelines of the ASEAN meeting in Bali, Indonesia, on Friday, Yonhap, South Korea’s state news agency, said in the first such contact in more than two years.
Ri Yong Ho, North Korea’s vice foreign minister who handles nuclear diplomacy, was appointed the country’s top envoy to the negotiations with Wi Sung-lac, South Korea’s nuclear envoy.