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S. Korea, U.S. to hold strategic dialogue on N.K. denuclearization

All News 15:51 April 12, 2016

SEOUL, April 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and the United States will hold high-level strategic dialogue in Seoul next week to discuss ways to strengthen bilateral cooperation over North Korea's denuclearization and other security issues, the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

Cho Tae-yong, deputy chief of South Korea's presidential National Security Office, will hold the second bilateral talks with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken here on Wednesday. The first strategic dialogue was held in February after Presidents Park Geun-hye and Barack Obama agreed to strengthen their allied strategic consultations over the provocative state during their summit in October.

The bilateral talks will be held a day after Seoul, Washington and Tokyo hold vice-ministerial talks in the South Korean capital to discuss the nuclear standoff with the North and other regional and global issues. The three-way meeting will be attended by First Vice Minister Lim Sung-nam and his U.S. and Japanese counterparts Blinken and Akitaka Saiki.

The focus of the allies' strategic talks is expected to be on how to further raise pressure on the communist regime to renounce its nuclear ambitions through the faithful implementation of international and standalone sanctions.

Observers say that the two sides could also touch on the potential deployment here of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, a core element of the global multilayered U.S. missile defense program.

The allies are currently in talks over the potential THAAD deployment. China has strongly opposed it, arguing that the THAAD will undermine its security interests.


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