Foreign ministry vows continued efforts with incoming U.S. gov’t for stronger alliance

SEOUL, South Korea’s foreign ministry said Sunday it will continue efforts with the incoming government of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden to strengthen the bilateral alliance and achieve progress in efforts for lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.
The ministry’s statement came as Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha left for Washington for talks with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, congressional people and academics, which observers predict could include those close to Biden.
“The foreign ministry has been directly and indirectly communicating with key figures in the Biden camp and the Democratic Party,” the ministry said.
“Based on the network that we have so far built and through close communication and cooperation, we will continue our efforts to strengthen the South Korea-U.S. alliance and make progress in the process for peace on the Korean Peninsula,” it added.
Shortly before her departure for Washington, Kang voiced hope that her trip this time will help cement the relationship between the two countries.
“Though it is a somewhat sensitive period, South Korea and the U.S. have always been communicating, and we, at a ministerial-level, discuss the Korean Peninsula situation and pending issues whenever there are opportunities, regardless of the timing,” Kang told reporters.
“I am thinking of meeting various people in the Congress or in the academia, though it is a sensitive time, and of having many good talks to create opportunities to further solidify the South Korea-U.S. relationship,” she added.
Asked if she plans to meet people close to Biden, Kang refused to go into detail about her schedule.
“I think I may have to continue to see (the situation) there,” she said.
On Monday, Kang plans to meet Pompeo to discuss a series of pending issues, including joint efforts to persuade the North to return to dialogue. She is scheduled to stay in Washington through Wednesday.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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