|From left, U.S. special representative for North Korea Sung Kim, South Korea’s Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Noh Kyu-duk and Japanese Foreign Ministry’s Director-General of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau Takehiro Funakoshi pose for a photo during their trilateral meeting at a hotel in Seoul Monday, June 21, 2021. (File photo by=Jung Yeon-je/Pool Photo via AP)|
[Asia News = Reporter Reakkana] Due to renewed tensions caused by Pyongyang's recent cruise missile launches, the top nuclear envoys of South Korea and Japan held talks in Tokyo on Monday to discuss cooperation in resuming dialogue with North Korea.
The talks between Seoul's chief nuclear negotiator, Noh Kyu-duk, and his Japanese counterpart, Takehiro Funakoshi, came on the eve of their trilateral meeting with the U.S. special representative for the North, Sung Kim. The North's official Korean Central News Agency reported that the country test-fired a new type of long-range cruise missile Saturday and Sunday in a low-intensity provocation amid stalled nuclear talks with the United States, previously in the day. During Monday's talks, Noh and Funakoshi were expected to discuss ways to encourage the North's return to dialogue through humanitarian aid and other incentives, and stably manage the security situation on the Korean Peninsula.
The North's latest saber-rattling came amid concerns over signs of the recalcitrant regime reactivating a plutonium-producing nuclear reactor at its main Yongbyon complex and lingering tensions following its furious reactions to last month's South Korea-U.S. military drills. Meanwhile, nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang have remained deadlocked since the 2019 Hanoi summit between the U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ended without a deal.