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(LEAD) Kang, Pompeo hold consecutive phone talks

All News 15:56 October 22, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS more details in last two paras)

SEOUL, Oct. 22 (Yonhap) -- Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha spoke by phone with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo twice this week for talks that included discussions on bilateral issues and Seoul's bid for the top post at the World Trade Organization (WTO), her office said Thursday.

The phone talks, which took place Wednesday and Thursday, came after Pompeo called off his visit to Seoul and cut short his East Asia trip earlier this month following U.S. President Donald Trump's COVID-19 contraction.

In this week's talks, the two sides discussed "pending bilateral issues and cooperation in global matters," the foreign ministry said in a release.

The two sides also "closely consulted on the selection process of the WTO director general," the ministry added.

South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee is competing with Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria in the final round for the selection process, with the new leader expected to be announced early next month.

The ministry also said that at the invitation of Pompeo, Kang agreed to visit the U.S. "in the near future" to hold ministerial talks and continue strategic communication on the Korean Peninsula, regional and global issues.

The ministry did not elaborate on why the phone talks took place twice in two days.

"We can't disclose the details of what was discussed, but the top diplomats of the two countries have issues to talk about, and we have been communicating closely at a high level," a foreign ministry official said.

(LEAD) Kang, Pompeo hold consecutive phone talks - 1


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