American envoy arrives in South Korea after North Korea refuses talks

US envoy arrives in South Korea as North Korea rejects talks

US envoy arrived in South Korea on Tuesday in an effort to renew stalled nuclear talks with North Korea hours after it released a statement that it had no intention of sitting with the United States and asked South Korea to “stop intervening.” US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun, who led work-level talks with the North Koreans, landed at a US military base south of Seoul, media reported, and was expected to meet with South Korean officials on Wednesday and Thursday.

North Korea said it didn’t see the need for a new summit on Saturday, days after South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who had agreed to mediate between Kim and Trump, proposed that the two leaders meet again before the November US elections. Trump and Kim first met in Singapore in 2018, boosting expectations for a diplomatic end to North Korea’s nuclear program. But their second summit, in Vietnam in 2019, and subsequent talks at the work-level, fell apart.

A newspaper announced that the diplomat would not be visiting a Korean chicken soup restaurant due to the outbreak, which was a routine stop on previous trips, and had then arranged for the dish to be cooked at the residence of the U.S. ambassador. Last month, North Korea abruptly raised tensions with South Korea and blew up a joint liaison office, just on its side of the border, before just as suddenly suspending plans for unspecified military actions.