By Kim Eun-jung
SEOUL, May 2 (Yonhap) -- The nominee to become South Korea's new foreign minister vowed efforts Monday to solidify the Seoul-Washington alliance and expand partnerships in "new-frontier" fields, including economic security and technologies.
Speaking to lawmakers during his confirmation hearing, Park Jin said his first main task will be successfully preparing the summit between the incoming president, Yoon Suk-yeol, and U.S. President Joe Biden, slated for May 21, in order to elevate the bilateral relations to a "comprehensive strategic alliance."
"(I) will (try to) establish a robust S. Korea-U.S. alliance to bolster the central axis of our diplomacy," he said.
The Yoon administration will seek to play a greater role in the region with a "positive" view on the Biden administration's Indo-Pacific Economic Framework and the issue of whether to join working groups of the Quad, a U.S.-led security partnership also involving Australia, Japan and India.
It will also remain committed to international cooperation for implementation of sanctions on North Korea to make it realize "nothing can be achieved with its nuclear weapons," he said, reaffirming the door for dialogue will be kept open as well.
If Pyongyang moves toward "substantive progress" in denuclearization, the Yoon government will consider the provision of humanitarian aid, economic cooperation and a peace treaty in coordination with the U.S., he said.
Yoon uses first overseas trip as president to rebuild ties, promote exports
Talk of 'normalizing' GSOMIA raises hope, skepticism around Seoul-Tokyo ties
S. Korea, U.S., Japan close ranks amid growing N.K. threats
Yoon's agenda gets boost from ruling party's sweeping triumph in local elections
Yoon-Biden summit opens new, broader chapter for S. Korea-U.S. alliance