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South Korea to send special envoys to five countries

South Korea will send special envoys to five countries to exchange viewpoints on how to develop closer relations under the government of President Moon Jae-in.

South Korea’s presidential Blue House said in a statement on Monday that special envoys would be sent to the US, China, Russia, Japan, and Germany to meet with high-ranking officials there and discuss how to develop firmer ties.

Among the South Korean envoys is former prime minister Lee Hae-chan, who will travel to China. Hong Seok-hyun, a former ambassador to the United States and former chairman of South Korean newspaper Joongang Ilbo and broadcaster JTBC, will head to Washington, according to the Blue House.

North Korea’s missile and military nuclear programs are also high on their agenda, as no let-up appears in tensions with Pyongyang.

The North launched a new type of ballistic missile on Sunday. South Korean President Moon, known for his open attitude toward dialog with the North, condemned the missile launch and convened his first National Security Council meeting over the issue.

The North said on Monday that the missile was a “new ground-to-ground medium long-range strategic ballistic rocket,” which was “capable of carrying a large, heavy nuclear warhead.”

The test prompted the United Nations Security Council to call for consultations on Tuesday afternoon. US Ambassador Nikki Haley meanwhile raised the possibility of new sanctions against North Korea by saying that the US would “continue to tighten the screws” on the North.