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South Korea urges summit with North Korea before Trump visit

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his wife Ri Sol Ju watch a performance given by amateur art groups of the wives of officers of units of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) selected in the seventh round of the second-term contest of art groups of KPA officers’ wives, North Korea, in this undated photo released June 3, 2019 by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang. KCNA/via REUTERS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – North Korea should hold another summit with South Korea ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to Seoul in coming days, South Korea’s Special Representative for North Korea Lee Do-Hoon said on Wednesday.

“I urge North Korea to respond to President Moon (Jae-in)’s outstanding invitation to hold an inter-Korea summit, if possible, before President Trump visits Korea next week,” Lee said in remarks at the Atlantic Council in Washington.

U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun, speaking at the same forum, separately said that both Washington and Pyongyang understand the need to be flexible in approaching further nuclear talks.

Talks between Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program fizzled after a second summit in February in Hanoi. U.S. officials in recent weeks have signaled diplomatic efforts could resume but have given no details. This week, Trump said he received a “beautiful” letter from Kim but was in no rush for a deal.

Biegun said the United States would be prepared to discuss all the commitments made in the two leaders’ first summit in Singapore when working level talks resume with North Korea.

Reporting by David Brunnstrom and Lesley Wroughton; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Susan Thomas

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