The United States and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) could resume denuclearization negotiations soon as the two sides remain in constant communication, the top nuclear envoy of the Republic of Korea (ROK) said Thursday.
"It's possible it will happen soon," Lee Do-hoon, ROK's special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs told reporters at Washington's Dulles International Airport, adding that the two sides have remained in constant communication.
"The New York channel is always open, so I understand that they can communicate whenever they need to."
Lee left for Washington on Thursday to hold talks with the U.S. side about the Korean Peninsula's denuclearization, according to the ROK Foreign Ministry.
During the trip, Lee will meet Stephen Biegun, U.S. special representative for the DPRK affairs, to discuss cooperation measures for the complete denuclearization and lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.
Lee will also meet with senior U.S. government officials for talks about the Peninsula and other issues of mutual concern, the foreign ministry said.
"North Korea (DPRK) has recently shifted its emphasis from sanctions relief to so-called security guarantees for its regime, so South Korea (ROK) and the U.S. are discussing and studying various ways (to address that)," Lee said.
Lee's visit came amid rising expectations for the DPRK and the United States to resume working-level denuclearization talks in the near future.
Choe Son Hui, the DPRK's first vice foreign minister, said earlier this month that the DPRK was willing to hold talks with the United States in late September to comprehensively discuss issues the two sides had taken up.
(With input from Xinhua)