A South Korean nuclear envoy said Tuesday he has "no plans" to hold a bilateral meeting with his North Korean counterpart on the sidelines of a regional security forum in Beijing this week.
The annual Northeast Asia Cooperation Dialogue (NEACD), which will begin its two-day run from Wednesday, brings together nuclear envoys from six nations involved in long-stalled talks on North Korea's nuclear weapons program.
Among those attending the forum are Choe Son-hui, deputy director for North American affairs at North Korea's foreign ministry and the North's deputy chief envoy for the six-party talks, and Ambassador Sung Kim, the top U.S. envoy on North Korea policy.
Kim Gunn, South Korea's deputy chief nuclear envoy, also arrived in Beijing on Tuesday morning to attend the forum.
Asked whether he would hold a bilateral meeting with Choe during the forum, Kim told reporters at the Beijing airport, "I have no plans."
Kim said, "The prospects for resuming a dialogue with North Korea are low at this point," because the North shows no signs of giving up its nuclear ambitions.
Organized by the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation (IGCC) of the University of California, San Diego, the NEACD has served as an opportunity for informal dialogue between North Korea and its nuclear negotiation partners -- South Korea, China, Japan, Russia and the United States.
North Korea, which conducted its fourth nuclear test in January this year, did not attend the NEACD in 2014 and 2015.
The six-party talks were last held in late 2008 and diplomatic efforts to resume the negotiations on ending North Korea's nuclear ambitions have produced little results, as the North showed no signs of giving up its nuclear weapons program.
Earlier this month the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) warned that North Korea appears to have restarted its main nuclear bomb fuel plant.
If the warning by the IAEA is correct, it would be the latest move by North Korea to expand its nuclear weapons program despite tightened international sanctions. (Yonhap)