RoK president's envoys leave for Pyongyang to mediate US-DPRK talks

Monday, 2018-03-05 11:47:50
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Chung Eui-yong (center), head of the presidential National Security Office, Suh Hoon (second left), the chief of the RoK's National Intelligence Service, and others pose before boarding an aircraft as they leave for Pyongyang at a military airport on March 5.
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A special plane carrying the Republic of Korea (RoK) President Moon Jae-in's special envoys left for Pyongyang Monday (March 5) on a mission to mediate talks between the United States and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

The plane carrying the 10-member special delegation took off from an airport in Seongnam, outside of the capital Seoul, at about 2 p.m. local time (0500 GMT), local TV footage showed. The passenger jet, called Air Force Two, will fly via a western direct route to the Sunan International Airport in Pyongyang.

The delegation, composed of five emissaries and five working-level officials, was led by Chung Eui-yong, top national security adviser for President Moon and head of the National Security Office of the Blue House.

Before leaving for Pyongyang, Chung told reporters that he will convey to the DPRK side President Moon's firm will and resolution to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and build a genuine, lasting peace on the peninsula.

The chief delegate said the emissaries will make an in-depth discussion on ways to continue a variety of dialogues between the DPRK and the international community, including the United States, as well as inter-Korean talks.

The Blue House indicated that the delegation's key mission was to broker talks between Pyongyang and Washington.

During their two-day trip, the RoK envoys will hold talks with senior DPRK officials about issues, especially the conditions to be created for any US-DPRK dialogue to denuclearize the peninsula, the Blue House said.

Baik Tae-hyun, unification ministry spokesman, told a press briefing on March 5 that the delegation's main focus is to encourage the start of the DPRK-US talks to advance the denuclearized peninsula.

After returning to Seoul on March 6 afternoon, the envoys will brief President Moon on their DPRK trip, and then will visit Washington to explain to the US side about the outcome of talks between the RoK envoys and the DPRK officials.

Chung and Suh reportedly planned to visit Washington within this week to discuss the possible start of talks between Pyongyang and Washington.

Xinhua