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South Korea To Send High-level Officials To North For Talks


South Korean President Moon Jae-in at last month's Winter Olympics.

South Korea's president will send a delegation led by his national security director to North Korea this week for talks on how to ease nuclear tensions and help push for talks between Pyongyang and Washington.

The delegation, announced by Moon's office on March 4, comes amid a rare moment of detente between the two rivals stemming from the recent Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

The 10-member delegation is to fly to Pyongyang on March 5 for a two-day visit that includes talks with senior North Korean officials.

The discussions would deal with how to promote peace on the Korean Peninsula, improve ties between the Koreas, and foster an environment for the resumption of talks between Pyongyang and Washington, President Moon Jae-in's office said.

After the visit to North Korea the envoys will travel to the United States to brief officials.

U.S. President Donald Trump said last month that talks with North Korea would only take place "under the right conditions.”

Speaking on March 3, Trump suggested that the United States will be meeting with North Korea but has told Pyongyang it must first "denuke."

It was unclear if Trump was joking or if formal U.S.-North Korea talks were imminent.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman in Pyongyang called on the U.S. on March 3 drop any preconditions for talks.

Last month, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence was scheduled to meet with North Korean officials, including leader Kim Jong Un’s sister, while in South Korea for the Winter Olympics but the North Koreans canceled at the last minute, U.S. officials said in February.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and AFP
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