US envoy meets North Korean counterpart to discuss 2nd Trump-Kim summit

Washington: US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun met his North Korean counterpart Kim Hyok Chol in Pyongyang this week to discuss the second meeting between the leaders of the two countries.

During the meeting, which took place between February 6-8, Biegun and Kim discussed the upcoming summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, which is scheduled to be held by the end of this month, and “advance further progress on the commitments” made by the two leaders during their first meeting in Singapore last June, according to a statement by US State Department.

“Special Representative Biegun and Special Representative Kim discuss advancing President Trump and Chairman Kim’s Singapore summit commitments of complete denuclearization, transforming U.S.-DPRK relations, and building a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula. Special Representative Biegun and Special Representative Kim agreed to meet again in advance of President Trump and Chairman Kim’s second summit,” the statement read.

President Trump, on February 6, confirmed he will hold a second Summit with North Korea’s Kim on February 27 and 28 in Vietnam.

Trump made the confirmation while addressing the House of Representatives during his annual State of the Union speech.

During the first Summit, held at Singapore’s Sentosa Island, both Trump and Kim Jong-un had agreed on a spectrum of issues, the most prominent being the complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.

However, the US and North Korea reached an impasse regarding sanctions relief for Pyongyang soon after the first Summit, leading to extremely slow progress on the denuclearisation front.

North Korea has sought relief in sanctions in light of the steps taken by the country towards denuclearisation. The US has repeatedly stated that there would be no sanctions relief until complete denuclearisation is achieved by North Korea.