Chief negotiators from South Korea and the United States will hold talks in Seoul this week in relation to North Korea's nuclear program, the South Korean foreign ministry said Monday. The news comes days after reports surfaced that Pyongyang threatened Seoul of gruesome consequences if the latter continued with its psychological warfare tactics.
South Korea's Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Kim Hong-kyun and his U.S. counterpart Joseph Yun are set to meet Tuesday for the first talk between the top negotiators, Yonhap news agency reported. The meeting is aimed at discussing more sanctions against North Korea and efforts to push for a fresh resolution at the United Nations Security Council.
North Korea announced Friday it wants the South to give up its plan of erecting a large electronic display in Cheorwon, Gangwon Province, in the demilitarized zone along the Military Demarcation Line. The display will show domestic and international news and even play Korean pop music videos, according to Sputnik News.
South Korea was aiming to aggravate an already "extreme confrontation" with the North and push it into a "direct military conflict," Korean People's Army reportedly told KCNA in reference to the display.
The South Korea-U.S. meeting comes as North Korea faced a setback in its military development this month. Two recent missile launch tests of the indigenous-built Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missiles failed earlier this month.
A Yonhap report Friday said North Korea's supreme leader Kim Jong Un ordered a full review into the missile failure, based on suspicion of foul play — including sabotage by South Korea or the U.S.
"Kim has instructed the special investigation team to implement a probe into the national defense sector starting on November 1 to make the causes for the launch failures clear," Kim Heung-kwang, a North Korean defector and executive director of Seoul-based dissidents' group, North Korea Intellectuals Solidarity, said at a press conference. "Officials and workers who engaged in the launches of the missiles are now banned from travelling and their mobiles phones are confiscated to check their conversation records."
The United Nations has strongly condemned North Korea's recent attempts at test-firing ballistic missiles that were conducted after the reclusive country's fifth nuclear test in September.