U.S. envoy for N. Korea to meet with incoming gov’t officials

SEOUL-- U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Sung Kim is expected to hold a series of meetings with members of the incoming Yoon Suk-yeol government in Seoul this week, officials said Tuesday.

Kim has been in the country since Monday to coordinate the allies' North Korea policy amid concern Pyongyang could stage major provocations, such as a nuclear or intercontinental ballistic missile test, ahead of Yoon's inauguration next month.

On Wednesday, Kim will meet with Foreign Minister nominee Park Jin, while on Thursday, he is expected to meet with Unification Minister nominee Kwon Young-se, according to the officials.

During his five-day stay, Kim is also likely to meet with Kim Sung-han, a member of Yoon's transition committee and his likely pick for national security adviser, and Rep. Cho Tae-yong, a former vice foreign minister who recently traveled with Park to Washington as part of Yoon's policy consultation delegation.

"We'll talk about ways in which South Korea and the United States can closely cooperate against North Korea's threats," Park said of his planned meeting with Kim as he arrived at his temporary office Tuesday.

No meeting has yet been planned between Kim and Yoon.

On Monday, Kim met with his counterpart and Seoul's top nuclear envoy, Noh Kyu-duk, and promised to work closely to respond "responsibly and decisively" to North Korea's provocations.

On Tuesday, Kim met with Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong to discuss ways to prevent North Korea from carrying out additional provocative acts and to resume dialogue with the recalcitrant regime, according to Chung's ministry.

Kim was quoted as saying that Seoul and Washington should closely cooperate to sternly respond to Pyongyang's provocations, as Chung stressed the need for the allies' strong combined defense posture to stave off a further escalation of tensions on the peninsula.

Source: Yonhap News Agency