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S.Korean, US, Japanese intel chiefs to discuss Pyongyang

SEOUL, OCT 18 (IANS) | Publish Date: 10/18/2021 11:55:54 AM IST

The intelligence chiefs of South Korea, the US and Japan will meet in Seoul on Monday behind closed doors for talks on North Korea and other pending issues, according to a source.

Park Jie-won, the head of South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS), will meet Avril Haines, the US director of national intelligence, and Hiroaki Takizawa, Japan’s Cabinet intelligence director, Yonhap News Agency quoted the source as saying.

The three will meet for the first time since May in Tokyo and are expected to share the assessments of the security situations on the Korean Peninsula, following Pyongyang’s recent series of missile launches.

Pyongyang has remained unresponsive to Washington’s overtures for dialogue, with denuclearization talks having stalled since the no-deal summit between then US President Donald Trump and the North’s leader Kim Jong-un in 2019.

The top spy agency officials may also touch on South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s recent proposal to declare a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War as Seoul ramps up diplomacy to revitalize its drive for lasting peace on the peninsula. The chief nuclear envoys of the three regional powers are scheduled to meet in Washington on Tuesday.

Takizawa’s visit to Seoul is his first since Japan’s new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida took office earlier this month, and the discussions could possibly signal Tokyo’s new policy direction on North Korea.

The talks could also consider ways to strengthen trilateral intelligence sharing, as the leaders of the two East Asian countries attempt to patch up rocky relations over historic disputes stemming from Japan’s colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula from 1910-45.

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