• Kyodo

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Senior officials from Japan, the United States and South Korea are expected to hold talks in Tokyo next week to discuss issues on North Korea, including how to move forward stalled denuclearization negotiations with Pyongyang, diplomatic sources said Tuesday.

The trilateral meeting on North Korea, which was last held in June in Seoul, follows a call by the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden for dialogue with Pyongyang toward the goal of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

The three countries may also exchange views on the economic situation in North Korea, which continues to shut its borders as a measure against the coronavirus pandemic, and humanitarian assistance to the country such as the provision of vaccines through international organizations, the sources said.

The meeting will be attended by Takehiro Funakoshi, head of the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, Sung Kim, U.S. special envoy for North Korea, as well as Noh Kyu-duk, South Korea’s special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs.

Bilateral meetings are also being arranged on the sidelines of the three-way talks, the sources said.

The Biden administration in late April said it completed a months-long review of North Korea policy that calls for “calibrated and practical” diplomacy aimed at increasing the security of the United States and its allies.

U.S.-North Korea denuclearization talks have been stalled as they have fallen short of bridging the gap between Washington’s demands and Pyongyang’s calls for sanctions relief.

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