N. Korean, U.S. officials meet for over 4 hours in first follow-up talks on Hanoi summit

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Published on 21 Feb 2019, 23:53
비건-김혁철, 4시간30분 하노이 첫 대좌…북미 의제 협상 본격화

Our top story this morning...
North Korea and the U.S. held their first follow-up talks in Hanoi on Thursday,... as the envoys of the two sides thrashed out the agenda for next week's highly-anticipated summit in the Vietnamese capital.
Lee Seung-jae has the latest.
It was at a little past 1PM local time on Thursday that North Korea's special representative for U.S. Affairs of the State Affairs Commission, Kim Hyok-chol,... was seen leaving the state guesthouse in Hanoi,... alongside Kim Song-hye,... head of the North's unification strategy office at the United Front Department.
Shortly afterwards, Kim arrived at the hotel where his American counterpart Stephen Biegun is staying,... for their first face-to-face discussions in two weeks.
The negotiations lasted roughly four-and-a-half hours,... during which Kim Song-hye was seen leaving for the state guesthouse after two hours,... before returning right away.
It's expected the two sides discussed the summit agenda,... and may have also discussed the contents of the Hanoi Declaration set to be unveiled after next week's summit.
Thursday's talks were a follow-up to their meeting in Pyeongyang earlier this month,... when Kim and Biegun reportedly discussed the shutdown of North Korea's Yeongbyeon nuclear complex and Washington's corresponding measures.
Those measures are said to include the establishment of a joint liaison office, a declaration to end to the Korean War, and the easing of sanctions on the regime.
A senior U.S. official on Thursday stressed that the U.S. will eventually need a full inventory of North Korea's nuclear arsenal "well before" the end of the denuclearization process,... adding that for now,... the immediate priority is to freeze all of North Korea's weapons of mass destruction and missile programs.
With less than a week until the second Pyeongyang-Washington summit, the two sides will have to get down to the most detailed aspects of the agenda,... to ensure the summit is a success.
Lee Seung-jae, Arirang News.

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