The US Special Representative for North Korea and First Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Bigan will visit Seoul and Tokyo on July 7-10, the US State Department said Monday.
“Stephen Bigan will travel to Seoul and Tokyo on July 7-10, where he will meet with officials from South Korea and Japan to continue close joint cooperation on a number of bilateral and world issues, as well as to further strengthen coordination on the issue of the final, fully verified denuclearization of the DPRK,” – the message says.
This is Bigan’s first visit to South Korea in six months. It is expected that inter-Korean relations will be at the center of the agenda, in particular, the recent explosion by North Korea of the South Korean coordination office located on the North side near the demilitarized zone in the city of Kaesong.
Relations between Seoul and Pyongyang escalated due to incessant stocks in South Korea of some organizations, which, with the help of polyethylene cylinders with heated air, are sending campaign leaflets to the territory of the DPRK. In North Korea, they have repeatedly demanded that these actions be stopped in accordance with the joint statement of the leaders of the South and the North of 2018 on the renunciation of hostility against each other. But activists continued to send leaflets, and Pyongyang said that “his patience is over.”
Despite the urgent promises of the South Korean government to take a number of measures designed to alleviate the situation and somehow prevent the activists from sending leaflets, North Korea did not go for reconciliation and on June 16 blew up the building of the coordination center of South Korea.
The next day, the DPRK general staff announced that it would send troops to the border areas and resume training there, return civilian police officers to military police observation posts in the demilitarized zone, which had been released by agreement with the South in 2018, and also begin campaigning again against the South Korea.
On June 20, the DPRK presented a mock leaflet with insults addressed to South Korean President Moon Jae In. Following this, the CTC announced that 12 million propaganda leaflets and more than 3 thousand balloons had already been prepared for their dispatch.