Seoul — South Korea would send a delegation led by senior security officials for a two-day visit to North Korea starting on Monday, the presidency announced on Sunday, as US President Donald Trump hinted he was ready to talk to Pyongyang.
For its part, North Korea said it was not begging to talk with Washington and denounced looming US-South Korean joint-military exercises, warning that it would take counter measures against the US if they went ahead.
The drills will take place in April, a South Korean presidential security adviser said, according to the Yonhap news agency. They were delayed until after the Winter Olympics and Paralympic games.
South Korea’s presidential Blue House said that National Security Office head Chung Eui-yong and National Intelligence Service chief Suh Hoon, a veteran of negotiations with the North, would be among the 10-member South Korean delegation to visit Pyongyang.
The visit was part of an effort to lower tension on the peninsula as well as possibly arrange talks between North Korea and the US, it said. After the visit the envoys would travel to the US to brief officials. Seoul said it would also co-ordinate with officials in Japan and China.
Trump suggested on Saturday that the US would be meeting with North Korea but he had told Pyongyang it must first "denuke".