N.Korea denuclearisation within reach: US

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Seoul (IANS): A top US official said here on Monday that that complete and verifiable denuclearisation of North Korea was within reach.

US Special representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun expressed confidence on behalf of President Donald Trump's administration that Pyongyang would give up its nuclear arms, despite an ongoing deadlock on the issue between the two sides, reports Efe news.

"We have a shared goal here, which is to bring an end to 70 years of war and hostilities on the Korean Peninsula. And the primary requirement for us to get to the end point is to achieve final, fully, verified denuclearization of North Korea," Biegun said at a meeting with South Korean representative Lee Do-hoon.

"I am absolutely confident this is within reach," he added.

Lee highlighted the need for the US and South Korea to maintain close cooperation in dealing with Pyongyang, after differences have emerged publicly between the two countries over the need to continue with sanctions against North Korea.

"We need to meet up as often as possible to make sure there is no daylight whatsoever between our two allies," he said.

Biegun on Sunday had began a three-day visit of South Korea, during which he is expected to focus on discussions centering on talks with North Korea.

He is also set to meet South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon.

The Trump administration was allegedly unhappy with Seoul's willingness to start economic cooperation and infrastructure projects with Pyongyang, although the North Korean regime had not taken any new steps to abandon its nuclear weapons.

Biegun's Seoul visit comes at a time when Washington is in discussion with Pyongyang to organise a second summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, although the date and venue are yet to be decided.

The South Korean government had also hoped that Kim will visit Seoul before the end of this year for another meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

The two had last met in September for what was their third summit this year.

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