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FM Kang to attend security forum in Munich this week

All News 15:59 February 11, 2020

SEOUL, Feb. 11 (Yonhap) -- Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha will attend a security conference in Munich, Germany, later this week, the foreign ministry said Tuesday, amid expectations she could also hold a one-on-one meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on its margins.

During the annual three-day Munich Security Conference, set to begin on Friday, Kang will attend a key session to explain Seoul's diplomatic policy to strengthen multilateralism, a value challenged by rising nationalism and trade protectionism, the ministry said.

On its sidelines, Kang is looking to hold a series of two-way talks with her foreign counterparts.

This photo, taken on Feb. 6, 2020, shows Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha speaking during a press conference at her ministry in Seoul. (Yonhap)

Seoul and Washington are still in consultations to arrange a bilateral meeting between Kang and Pompeo, Kim In-chul, the foreign ministry spokesman, said.

"If the talks take place, of course, issues related to the Korean Peninsula will be part of the agenda for their meeting," Kim told reporters, hinting that the pair will discuss efforts to resume stalled nuclear talks with North Korea and related peace efforts.

The agenda for their possible talks could include Seoul's push for individual trips to North Korea as a way to bolster inter-Korean cooperation and help resume the nuclear negotiations.

The pair may discuss ongoing negotiations over the sharing of the cost for the upkeep of the 28,500-strong U.S. Forces Korea. In Washington last month, the two countries held their latest negotiation but failed to bridge their differences despite what Seoul calls a "broadening of mutual understanding."

Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi is also expected to attend the conference, raising the possibility that he and Kang will hold a separate one-on-one meeting to discuss efforts to address their countries' protracted row over Tokyo's wartime forced labor and export curbs.

The top diplomats of South Korea, the U.S. and Japan could hold a three-way meeting on the sidelines of the security forum as they did last month in San Francisco.

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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