Obama to send envoy to North Korea Dec 8 (Lead)

Seoul, Nov 19 (DPA) US President Barack Obama said Thursday he planned to send his special envoy to North Korea Dec 8 in a bid to restart stalled multinational talks to end Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme.

Speaking at a press conference after meeting his South Korean counterpart Lee Myung Bak in Seoul on the final leg of his Asian tour, Obama said the trip by Stephen Bosworth, the US special representative for North Korea policy, should help revive the six-party talks, which North Korea abandoned in April.

China, South Korea, Russia and Japan also participate in the talks.

Other subjects for discussion were the US-South Korean security alliance and the planned ratification of a free-trade deal.

Obama and President Lee stressed that bilateral relations had never been better than now.

On his first Asian tour Obama has already visited Japan, Singapore — where he attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit — and China.

After visiting a US military base near Seoul, the US president is due to fly home later Thursday.