South Korean nuclear envoy to visit his counterparts

South Korea's new nuclear envoy plans to visit his counterparts in stalled talks on North Korea's nuclear program, the country's foreign minister said Wednesday.

South Korea on Monday appointed a top disarmament official, Chun Young-woo, to represent the country in talks with China, Japan, North Korea, Russia and the United States on ending the North's nuclear program.

Chun replaced Song Min-soon, who became President Roh Moo-hyun's main security adviser. Song leaves for Washington on Thursday for a three-day visit that includes talks with his counterpart, White House National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley.

Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon said Chun will visit other "related countries" after Song returns from the U.S. trip.

"In the course of those trips, I expect that a shape of the six-party talks will emerge," Ban told reporters at a regular news briefing, without elaborating.

The nuclear talks have been stalled since November due mainly to a dispute over U.S. sanctions against North Korea over alleged currency counterfeiting and money laundering, with the communist state ruling out fresh talks unless the sanctions are lifted, reports the AP.


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