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US envoy back from North Korea after talks on Trump-Kim summit

AFP  |  Seoul 

The for North returned to on Friday after talks with North Korean officials in to set up the agenda for the second summit between and

Stephen Biegun's three-day trip was expected to have explored a wide range of denuclearisation issues in preparation for the much-anticipated summit in on February 27 and 28.

Biegun landed at Friday evening, told AFP.

It is not yet known whether Biegun met with Kim, with North Korean media silent on his visit.

He is expected to share details of his meetings with his South Korean counterpart and on Saturday.

Attention will be on whether the US team have offered to lift some economic sanctions in return for taking concrete steps towards denuclearisation.

Discussions on declaring an end to the 1950-53 Korean War could also have been on the table, with Biegun last week saying Trump was "ready to end this war".

The three-year conflict ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty, leaving the two Koreas still technically at war, with the US keeping 28,500 troops in the South.

The US was also likely to have discussed protocol and security matters for the upcoming Trump-Kim summit with his North Korean counterpart Chol.

Ahead of his trip, the State Department said Biegun's meetings with Chol would "advance further progress on the commitments the and Chairman Kim made in Singapore: complete denuclearisation, transforming US-DPRK relations and building a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula".

At their landmark summit in last year, the mercurial US and North Korean produced a vaguely-worded document in which Kim pledged to work towards "the denuclearisation of the "

But progress has since stalled with the two sides disagreeing over what that means.

Experts say tangible progress on Pyongyang's nuclear weapons will be needed for the second summit if it is to avoid being dismissed as "reality TV".

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, February 08 2019. 18:30 IST
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