Foreign Minister Meets with a Delegation from The Washington Times
1. Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se met with a delegation from The Washington Times on January 4 and extensively exchanged views with the group on ways to advance the Republic of Korea-United States relations during the tenure of the next US administration as well as nuclear and other issues of North Korea.
2. Minister Yun extended appreciation to The Washington Times for playing a role in raising awareness on Korean Peninsula issues in the US, including by issuing a special report on North Korea in March 2016 amid the grave situation on the Korean Peninsula triggered by repeated provocations by the North. The Minister, bringing attention to the ROK's ongoing consultations with the incoming US administration on ways to beef up the bilateral alliance, asked The Washington Times to continue taking an active part in efforts to further strengthen the ROK-US alliance during the tenure of the new US administration.
The US delegation, expressing confidence over advances in the ROK-US alliance even during the tenure of the Trump administration, stated that it will make efforts to raise awareness in the US on the value and significance of the ROK-US alliance and on nuclear, human rights and other issues of North Korea amid the permanent possibility of North Korean provocations.
In particular, the delegation, taking note of telephone conversations between the Presidents of the two countries and other efforts the ROK government is making to effectively communicate and consult with the incoming US administration, mentioned that The Washington Times will work to the extent possible to contribute to the advancement of the ROK-US alliance.
3. Minister Yun, bringing attention to the two nuclear tests and the launch of 24 diverse ballistic missiles by North Korea in 2016 alone, spoke of the ROK and US' plan to coordinate more closely to deter North Korea's attempts to engage in strategic provocations around the time of the launch of the new US administration as it has done before, and to respond sternly should the North indeed commit provocations.
Minister Yun underlined the need for the ROK and the US to continue enforcing tough sanctions and putting pressure on North Korea, as well as to beef up their combined defense posture and deterrence against the North during the tenure of the new US administration. He added that the ROK is are mulling over holding a foreign ministerial meeting as soon as Secretary of State nominee Tilllerson takes office to discuss issues concerning the ROK-US alliance as well as nuclear and other issues of North Korea.
4. Minister Yun's meeting with The Washington Times delegation came as part of the ROK's public diplomacy activities toward the US. It is seen to have served as an opportunity to help leading US media outlets learn more about Korean Peninsula issues and win broader support from the US on major ROK government policies ahead of the launch of the new US administration.
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs Republic of Korea