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U.S. South Korea Discuss ‘Bold, Pragmatic’ Approach to North Korea; Trump Meets with South Korean Envoy

May 18, 2017 (EIRNS)—According to South Korea’s Presidential envoy Hong Seok-hyun, who met yesterday with President Donald Trump for 15 minutes, the U.S. President is willing to try engagement with North Korea under the right conditions, Reuters reported. Hong said that the U.S. is looking forward to working with Seoul to resolve the North Korean issue, the Korea Times reported.

This coheres with reports from last Tuesday’s meeting between Trump’s Senior National Security Director for East Asian Affairs, Matthew Pottinger, and South Korea’s former ambassador to Geneva, Chung Eui-yong, in which the two agreed to mobilize "all available means," including dialogue "under the right conditions" and explore "bold and pragmatic steps" with the aim of encouraging North Korea to abolish its nuclear program, the Korea Times reported.

In a briefing today, South Korea’s Foreign Ministry spokesman emphasized that Trump has said he will not have talks for the sake of talks, which, the spokesman said, "reiterated our joint stance that we are open to dialogue, but the right conditions must be formed."

In addition to Hong Seok-hyun, South Korean President Moon Jae-in has deployed lawmaker Moon Hee-sang, of the Democratic Party of Korea, as special envoy to Japan. Later this week, special presidential envoys will travel to China, Russia, the European Union, and Germany. Archbishop Hyginus Kim Hee-joong will travel to the Vatican, according to the Korea Times. Today, special envoy Lee Hae-chan, a former Prime Minister and current member of the National Assembly, is in China to discuss the U.S. deployment into South Korea of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system.