Seoul, Sep 24 (IANS) The US and North Korea are expected to resume working-level nuclear talks within the next two or three weeks, South Korea’s intelligence agency said on Tuesday.
If the two sides can reach an agreement at the upcoming talks, US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un could hold their third summit this year, the National Intelligence Service (NIS) said.
The NIS held a closed-door briefing to the chiefs of political parties sitting on the parliamentary intelligence committee, reports Yonhap News Agency reported.
Trump and Kim agreed to hold working-level nuclear talks during their surprise meeting at the inter-Korean border village in June. The meeting came after their second summit in Vietnam in February fell through without a deal.
Since then, progress for working-level negotiations has stalled. But as Trump signaled a push for a “new method” in dialogue with Pyongyang, Kim Myong-gil, the North’s new nuclear envoy, welcomed it last week.
During their summit in New York on Monday, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Trump agreed to expedite the peace process on the Korean Peninsula on the basis of last year’s Singapore summit deal between Washington and Pyongyang.
At the meeting, Trump hinted of the possibility of meeting Kim by the end of the year, although he underlined that he was in no hurry.
“Kim Myong-gil will be the chief at the working-level talks and the North’s vice foreign minister Choe Son-hui will spearhead the whole negotiation process,” the NIS said on Tuesday.
The NIS added that, depending on the outcome of nuclear negotiations with the US, the North’s leader could visit South Korea in November to attend a special summit between the South and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Yonhap News Agency reported.
South Korea plans to host the special summit in the port city of Busan on November 25-26 in an effort to promote ties with the ASEAN.
“If there is progress for denuclearization talks between the U.S. and North Korea, everything is possible,” the NIS said when asked by lawmakers about the possibility of an inter-Korean summit.
Theagency said Kim Jong-un could also make his fifth visit to China for a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“If Kim visits China, the location may be near China’s border with North Korea or three northeastern provinces in China,” the NIS added.