Elizabeth Shim

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (R) meets with South Korea Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha (L) in Washington on Thursday. Photo by Erik S. Lesser/EPA-EFE

Dec. 6 (UPI) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with his South Korean counterpart Kang Kyung-wha in Washington on Thursday to discuss bilateral efforts on North Korea.

Kang and the South Korean delegation were in the United States to pay their respects to former President George H.W. Bush at the U.S. Capitol. They attended the funeral on Wednesday.

The two diplomats are meeting for the first time since Oct. 7, when Pompeo visited Seoul following his fourth trip to North Korea.

The meeting began at 8:30 a.m. at the State Department. Sources told Yonhap the meeting covered cooperation on North Korea denuclearization, and other areas where the two countries need to coordinate policy.

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Foreign ministry spokesman Noh Kyu-duk had said ahead of the meeting the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the establishment of the peace process are to be discussed to “maintain coordination,” as confirmed by the “Nov. 30 summit meeting.”

Talks come a day after South Korean railroad surveyors returned from inspecting train tracks in the North.

Kim Jong Un and President Moon Jae-in agreed to work to reconnect the railroads, including the Gyeongui Line that once extended north and south.

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South Korean television network JTBC reported Thursday the tracks were mostly single-track and worn out.

The condition of the train tracks made it difficult to raise the speed of cars, experts said.

Other areas of the railroad, including the tracks that connect China to North Korea, were well maintained, they added.

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