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S. Korea to discuss 'creative' engagement on N. Korea in talks with U.S., Japan

North Korea 18:51 February 08, 2022

SEOUL, Feb. 8 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will have in-depth consultations with the United States and Japan in the upcoming three-way ministerial talks to explore "creative" ways of engagement with North Korea, Seoul officials said Tuesday.

The foreign ministry reaffirmed its commitment to diplomacy with Pyongyang, as South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong is set to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi in Hawaii on Saturday following the North's recent missile tests.

"In light of the meeting, South Korea and U.S., as well as Japan, plan to have in-depth consultations on creative and various ways to engage with North Korea," ministry spokesperson Choi Young-sam said in a press briefing.

"It is important that North Korea stops acts escalating tension at this point and opts for a diplomatic path via dialogue," Choi added.

The first trilateral ministerial meeting under the Joe Biden administration is expected to discuss ways to bolster their cooperation in response to growing threats from North Korea's nuclear and missile program.

Pyongyang staged seven rounds of missile launches in January, including that of an intermediate-range ballistic missile, marking the largest number of missile tests conducted by the recalcitrant regime in a single month.

It has also hinted at the possibility of breaking its moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile testing, upping the ante in its drawn-out standoffs with Washington.

The top nuclear envoys of South Korea, the United States and Japan pose prior to their talks in Washington on Oct. 20, 2021, in this file photo provided by Seoul's foreign ministry. From left are Noh Kyu-duk (South Korea), Sung Kim (U.S.) and Takehiro Funakoshi (Japan). (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

ejkim@yna.co.kr
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