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S Korean diplomats arrive in US to brief officials on talks with Kim


Reuters
WASHINGTON/SEOUL
Two senior South Korean officials arrived in the United States on Thursday to brief US officials on their meeting this week with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Pyongyang's apparent willingness to discuss denuclearization with Washington.
South Korea's National Security Office head Chung Eui-yong and National Intelligence Service chief Suh Hoon are expected to explain North Korea's stance on possible future talks with Washington and the prospect of Pyongyang suspending nuclear tests if the security of the North's government is assured.
They are due to meet with US National Security Adviser HR McMaster and possibly President Donald Trump or Vice President Mike Pence, a South Korean official said.
South Korea's Yonhap news agency said Chung and Suh arrived in Washington on Tuesday morning after an overnight flight from Seoul.
The South Korean official said Chung had already spoken to McMaster on the phone, shortly after completing this week's visit to economically and diplomatically isolated North Korea.
US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was guarded when asked on Wednesday about the prospect of North Korean engagement.
"Obviously we're cautiously optimistic that there is some forward progress here,"Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon.
"But we've been optimistic before, so we're going to have to watch actions and see if they match words,"he said.

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