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Top diplomats of S. Korea, U.S. reaffirm commitment to denuclearization of N. Korea: State Dept.

All News 03:05 March 18, 2021

By Byun Duk-kun

WASHINGTON, March 17 (Yonhap) -- U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his South Korean counterpart, Chung Eui-yong, have reaffirmed their countries' commitment to resolve North Korean nuclear and ballistic missile issues, the State Department said Wednesday.

Blinken and Chung also highlighted the importance of strengthening the South Korea-U.S. alliance to defend their shared interests, department spokesman Ned Price said.

"Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Chung reaffirmed that the U.S.-ROK Alliance is the linchpin of peace, security, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and around the world and discussed cooperation on a broad range of global issues," he said in a press release.

S.Korea-U.S. talks

Blinken is currently on a two-day visit to Seoul, where he is making his first in-person overseas trip since taking office in late January.

"The Secretary and the Foreign Minister emphasized that North Korean nuclear and ballistic missile issues are a priority for the Alliance, and reaffirmed a shared commitment to address and resolve these issues," said Price.

Blinken also promised close consultation with Seoul on his country's ongoing North Korea policy review.

"They discussed the United States' ongoing DPRK policy review and highlighted our shared commitment to strengthening the Alliance, defending against any use of force, and keeping America, the ROK, and our allies safe." DPRK stands for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Blinken and Chung also highlighted the importance of trilateral cooperation between their countries and Japan in dealing with not only nuclear-armed North Korea, but various other regional issues that include China's aggression in the South China Sea.

"They also affirmed the importance of trilateral cooperation among the United States, Japan, and the Republic of Korea in ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific," said Price.

Blinken will head to Alaska on Thursday for a meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Yang Jiechi.

The Blinken-Chung meeting, held Wednesday (Seoul time), came one day before they are set to meet again in a two-plus-two format that will also involve U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and South Korean Defense Minister Suh Wook.


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