SEOUL/WASHINGTON, Nov. 28 (Yonhap) -- A White House delegation made a secret trip to North Korea in August in what might be an attempt to discourage it from taking provocative steps ahead of the U.S. presidential elections, a South Korean newspaper reported Thursday.
If confirmed, it would mark the second known visit by U.S. officials to Pyongyang this year, following the previous one before the North's rocket launch in April.
"A U.S. Air Force plane flew into Pyongyang through the Yellow Sea route after leaving Guam on Aug. 17," the Dong-A Ilbo quoted an unidentified diplomatic source as saying. "This jet stayed in Pyongyang for four days and flew out of the city on Aug. 20."
The source was quoted as adding it took the same route four months earlier.
Given such a relatively long journey, the newspaper said, the Barack Obama administration might have attempted "in-depth negotiations" with North Korea prior to the Nov. 6 elections.
"Chances are high that the U.S. sought to curb North Korea from taking military provocations and offered some measures in return," the source said, according to the daily.
It said the U.S. delegation included an official from the White House National Security Council but it could not identify the figure.
Those who were on board may include either White House Senior Director for Asian Affairs Daniel Russel or Sydney Seiler, Korea policy chief at the White House National Security Council, it added.
The White House would not confirm the report.
"I have no information to provide you," a White House spokesperson told Yonhap News Agency.
The U.S. government kept silent about reports that officials from the White House and intelligence authorities visited Pyongyang in April.
North Korea later confirmed through its state media that U.S. officials made the trip without revealing their names.
- Korea seen to tighten macro-prudential steps amid won's gain
- Presidential election becomes two-way race with Ahn's withdrawal
- Lee wraps up last overseas trip with focus on economic projects
- S. Korea reaches landmark in number of foreign tourists
- Xi Jinping to strive for China's strong economic growth
- China's Xi expected to deepen practical ties with S. Korea
- Prosecution, police under mounting pressure to bury the hatchet
- Liberal contenders' single candidacy process to impact presidential race
- (US election) Second Obama gov't faces multiple challenges on Korea
- Obama faces test of ties with S. Korea's new president
- Uncertainty dominates presidential race; hopefuls vie to win over moderates
- S. Korea, U.S. lay groundwork for new chapter in alliance
- S. Korea becomes bridge builder to promote green growth as global agenda
- Special investigation unlikely to have big effect on presidential vote
- Ahn Cheol-soo's bid transforms presidential election into 3-way race
- Political bickering intensifies over Park's defense of father's legacy
- Turbulence ahead for S. Korea's fighter jet purchase
- S. Korea's presidential race dominated by uncertainty, call for change
Home > National > Politics/Diplomacy