South Korean special envoy flies to North Korea

Next inter-Korean summit and denuclearization set to top agenda for Seoul delegation in Pyongyang

South Korean special envoy flies to North Korea

A special envoy appointed by South Korean President Moon Jae-in travelled to North Korea by plane Wednesday morning for a one-day visit aimed at booking a third inter-Korean summit of 2018 and smoothing the way for denuclearization progress.

Chung Eui-yong, who also serves as Moon's security advisor, was joined by the same four delegates who embarked on a similar mission to the North in March, a month before the first inter-Korean summit in over a decade.

They carried with them a personal letter from Moon for North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un, although it was not clear if they would meet him in person as they did earlier this year.

Chung told reporters Tuesday that his focus would be on setting a date for this month's agreed Moon-Kim summit in Pyongyang as well as discussing "ways to completely denuclearize" the Korean Peninsula.

The timing of the delegation's visit is especially important as it is hoped Chung might be able to help break a deadlock in the dialogue between the United States and North Korea after the cancellation of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's planned visit to the North's capital last week. Washington and Pyongyang have been unable to agree on a timeline for North Korea's promise to denuclearize since Kim met U.S. President Donald Trump in June.

Moon held a phone conversation with Trump Tuesday to confirm their joint efforts to seek peace and denuclearization on the peninsula.

"President Moon stressed the fact that [they] are at a very important juncture in establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula and that such efforts will move together with complete denuclearization," Seoul's presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom stated in comments carried by Yonhap News Agency after the phone talks.

"President Trump said he sincerely hoped for the success of the South-North Korea summit in September, not only for an improvement in the South-North Korean relationship but also the implementation of the June 12 U.S.-North Korea summit agreement and future dialogue," the spokesman added.