U.S. envoy won't meet with North Korea during Asia conference

By Elizabeth Shim Contact the Author   |  June 21, 2016 at 2:56 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 21 (UPI) -- A senior U.S. diplomat has no plans to meet with any North Korean envoys during the 26th Northeast Asia Cooperation Dialogue, according to the State Department.

Spokesman John Kirby said Monday that Washington's Special Representative for North Korea Policy Sung Kim is to not meet separately with the North Korean delegation attending the 26th Northeast Asia Cooperation Dialogue in Beijing.

Ambassador Kim, however, is expected to meet with Wu Dawei, China's special representative for Korean Peninsula Affairs.

The talks that begin on Wednesday are part of track 1.5 diplomacy, where government officials and other envoys cooperate in conflict resolution.

The United States has consistently participated in the talks, Kirby said.

North Korea made a rare move by sending a delegation to the talks where envoys of the six-party talks member states are in attendance.

Kirby said the reason for Pyongyang's unusual decision to participate in the talks is up to its envoy to explain, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap.

This is the first time North Korea is sending delegates since 2012, when the 23rd meeting of the NEACD was held in the Chinese city of Dalian.

Choi Son-hui, who is known to be the deputy director general of the North Korean foreign ministry's U.S. bureau, arrived in Beijing on Tuesday, according to South Korea press.

The China Institute of International Studies and the California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation are hosting the dialogue.

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