U.S. officials visit Seoul to discuss N. Korea, Myanmar
Published : Dec 7, 2011 - 16:57
Updated : Dec 7, 2011 - 16:57
U.S. special envoys dealing with North Korea and Myanmar policy arrived in South Korea Wednesday for separate visits to discuss the next steps in dealing with the traditionally repressive regimes, officials here said.

Glyn Davies, the U.S. special representative for North Korea policy, arrived in Seoul as part of his first East Asia tour since being appointed in October.

During his five-day stay in South Korea, Davies is scheduled to meet Thursday with Lim Sung-nam, Seoul’s chief envoy to the stalled six-nation talks on denuclearizing North Korea. The two sides are expected to discuss the next steps in their efforts to revive the multilateral talks that have been suspended for nearly three years.

Both Seoul and Washington are apparently weighing the possibility of additional dialogue with North Korea over the resumption of the talks. They each held two rounds of bilateral meetings with Pyongyang in July and October, but neither side reported tangible progress.

The negotiations, also involving China, Japan and Russia, have been deadlocked over North Korea’s continued nuclear defiance, including its development of a uranium enrichment program.

Lim was not immediately available for comment.

Davies will be accompanied by Clifford Hart, the U.S. special envoy for the six-party talks, among other officials.

In Seoul, they also plan to meet South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan, Unification Minister Yu Woo-ik and National Security Adviser Chun Yung-woo, officials said.

Separately, Derek Mitchell, the U.S. special representative and policy coordinator for Myanmar, also arrived in Seoul Wednesday for a two-day visit aimed at briefing South Korea on the results of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton‘s historic visit to Myanmar last week.

On Thursday, he is scheduled to hold separate meetings with Lim and the respective chiefs of the South Korean Foreign Ministry’s bureaus for North American affairs and South Asian and Pacific affairs, officials said.

Mitchell’s visit comes as South Korea is trying to improve relations with Myanmar in the wake of the new civilian government’s recent democratic reforms.

South Korea has key interests in the resource-rich nation due to its growing potential as an economic partner and its suspected collaboration with North Korea on missile and nuclear weapons development.
(Yonhap News)