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(2nd LD) Yoon, Harris share concern over N. Korea, discuss IRA

North Korea 15:25 September 29, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES with presidential office's briefing on Yoon-Harris meeting; CHANGES headline)
By Lee Haye-ah

SEOUL, Sept. 29 (Yonhap) -- President Yoon Suk-yeol and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris shared their concern about North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, and discussed ways to address Seoul's concerns about the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the presidential office said.

Yoon and Harris met for 85 minutes at the presidential office and discussed a wide range of issues, including ways to strengthen the bilateral relationship, and key regional and international issues, according to deputy presidential spokesperson Lee Jae-myoung.

"President Yoon and Vice President Harris expressed serious concern about North Korea's recent ballistic missile launches and legalization of its nuclear force policy," he said at a press briefing, noting Harris reaffirmed the ironclad U.S. commitment to the defense of South Korea.

"Vice President Harris said not only she, but also President Biden, are well aware of South Korea's concerns (about the IRA) and will look into it carefully in order to find ways to resolve South Korea's concerns in the process of the law's implementation," he added.

The two sides also agreed to plan a visit by Yoon to the U.S. next year to mark the 70th anniversary of the alliance.

On the controversy surrounding Yoon and Biden's meetings in New York last week, Harris said the U.S. is not bothered by it at all, according to Lee.

The spokesperson did not elaborate on which controversy Harris was referring to, but it apparently included the uproar in South Korea over Yoon's remarks caught on hot mic, which were initially reported as including vulgar language in reference to U.S. Congress and Biden.

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol (R) and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris pose for a photo before sitting down for talks at the presidential office in Seoul on Sept. 29, 2022. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)
South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo (L) holds talks with U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris at a Tokyo hotel on Sept. 27, 2022. Han and Harris were in the Japanese capital to attend the state funeral for former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. (Yonhap)

hague@yna.co.kr
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