US envoy, ROK President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol hold rare meeting

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US envoy, ROK President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol hold rare meeting

KIM HONG-JI POOL AFP SEOUL - The Republic of Korea's President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol had a rare meeting with the US envoy on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea on Tuesday, a source familiar with the event said on Wednesday, as both sides try to coordinate DPRK policy under Seoul's new government.

The US Special Representative Sung Kim arrived in Seoul on Monday for a five-day stay that included talks with his incumbent counterpart and officials on Yoon's transition team.

Yoon spokeswoman said no formal meeting was scheduled between Yoon and Kim. They attended a private, casual wine dinner on Tuesday - their first encounter since Yoon won the election last month - arranged by deputy parliament speaker Chung Jin-suk, who is an old friend of Kim's, a source familiar with the gathering told Reuters.

US Special Representative for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea DPRK Sung Kim speaks with his Republic of Korea ROK counterpart not in frame during their bilateral meeting on June 21, 2021 at a hotel in Seoul, ROK. JUNG YEON-JE POOL AFP Yonhap news agency first reported the meeting. The transition team issued a statement saying that the dinner was privately organized by Chung and not meant as a diplomatic event.

The source said that it was a friendly get-together, but not intended to discuss serious policy issues such as the North's nuclear program. North Korea is also referred to as the DPRK.

READ MORE: US, Japan, ROK to discuss DPRK after missile launches.

Park Jin, Yoon's foreign minister nominee, met Kim separately on Wednesday, during which Park said they would explore ways to step up cooperation.