TEHRAN (defapress) – The United States and North Korea are expected to resume working-level nuclear talks within two or three weeks, South Korea's spy agency said Tuesday.
News ID: 78800
Publish Date: 24September 2019 - 14:22
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, lawmakers quoted the National Intelligence Service (NIS) as saying.
The NIS held a closed-door briefing to the chiefs of political parties sitting on the parliamentary intelligence committee.
Trump and Kim agreed to hold working-level nuclear talks during their surprise meeting at the inter-Korean border village in late 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.
"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 agency said.
The NIS added that, depending 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).
South Korea plans to host the special summit in the southern port city of Busan on Nov. 25-26 in an effort to promote ties with the ASEAN.
"If there is progress for denuclearization talks between the US and North Korea, everything is possible," the NIS said when asked by lawmakers about the possibility of an inter-Korean summit, Yonhap news agency reported.
The spy agency said Kim Jong-un could 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.
Touching on the outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) in the North, the agency said pigs have been "wiped out" due to the disease in its northwestern Pyongan Province.
In May, the North reported an outbreak of ASF in its northern Jagang Province, which borders China, to the World Organization for Animal Health.
"It seems that North Korea's efforts to contain the disease did not fare well," the NIS said. "There are signs that ASF has considerably spread across North Korea."
It added the North remains lukewarm toward Seoul's request to make a joint effort to curb the spread of ASF.