South Korea’s senior nuclear negotiator is set to travel to China in the coming days for talks on the long-running standstill over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, the Yonhap News Agency reported on Sunday.
The forthcoming trip by Cho Tae-yong comes on the heels of his visit to the United States last week, where he discussed coordinating positions on Pyongyang with counterparts from the U.S. and Japanese governments.
An anonymous diplomatic insider said Cho likely will be updated by senior Chinese nuclear diplomat Wu Dawei on his visit to North Korea last week. There have been rumors Wu used his trip to tell North Korea that it needs to alter its position on its nuclear program if it wishes the moribund multinational aid-for-denuclearization process to be resumed.
Seoul, Washington and Tokyo argue Pyongyang has not gone far enough in demonstrating its commitment to permanent nuclear disarmament. The North reportedly has offered to implement a moratorium on nuclear tests and long-range missile launches if the six-nation negotiations are resumed. The talks involve China, Japan, both Koreas, Russia and the United States and were last held nearly five years ago.
No real progress has been seen toward restarting the talks, despite last week’s flurry of diplomatic meetings on the matter, according to a high-ranking source in South Korea.
“Headway may be made in slow stages instead of one big leap,” the source said.
Meanwhile, the South Korean government on Monday opened an international defense conference that was expected to include a focus on cyber security and threats emanating from North Korea, Yonhap separately reported. The second annual Seoul Defense Dialogue will include participation from senior military officials, vice defense ministers and security advisers from 23 countries, according to the South Korean Defense Ministry.
What We're Following See More »
"Paul Manafort, who served as a top aide to President Trump’s 2016 campaign, on Tuesday provided congressional investigators notes he took during a Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer that has emerged as a focus in the investigation of Russian interference in the election. Manafort’s submission, which came as he was interviewed in a closed session by staff members for the Senate Intelligence Committee, could offer a key contemporaneous account of the June 2016 session."
By the narrowest of margins, the Senate voted 51-50 this afternoon to begin debate on the House's legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins defected from the GOP, but Vice President Pence broke a tie. Sen. John McCain returned from brain surgery to cast his vote.
"Republicans who interviewed Jared Kushner for more than three hours in the House’s Russia probe on Tuesday said the president’s son-in-law and adviser came across as candid and cooperative. 'His answers were forthcoming and complete. He satisfied all my questions,' said Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas), who’s leading the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, including possible collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign."