President Barack Obama's special envoy conferred with South Korean officials Monday on the eve of a rare trip to North Korea aimed at bringing the communist country back to international nuclear disarmament talks.
Stephen Bosworth's three-day visit to Pyongyang represents the first bilateral talks between the U.S. and the North since Obama took office in January. The two countries last met one-on-one on the sidelines of now-stalled six-nation nuclear talks in Beijing in December 2008.
On Monday, Bosworth met with South Korea's chief nuclear envoy, Wi Sung-lac, to discuss the upcoming trip. Details of their discussions were immediately made available.
Bosworth is scheduled to fly to the North on Tuesday from a US air base near Seoul. While in Pyongyang, he is expected to meet with First Vice Foreign Minister Kang Sok Ju - the country's top nuclear strategist and leader Kim Jong Il's chief foreign policy brain, according to South Korea's Yonhap news agency.