S. Korea, U.S. in talks to arrange vice FM Choi’s visit to Washington

SEOUL, South Korea and the United States are in talks to arrange a visit to Washington by Seoul’s new First Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-kun for talks with his U.S. counterpart, a foreign ministry official said Sunday.
The visit, which could reportedly take place this week, would come as Seoul and Washington seek to address an array of pending issues, such as deadlocked defense cost-sharing negotiations and coordination on North Korea-related issues.
Should Choi meet Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun, it would be their first face-to-face talks since Choi, formerly presidential secretary for peace planning, took office last month.
“During their first phone talks on Sept. 2, Vice Foreign Minister Choi and Deputy Secretary Biegun shared the understanding that they will meet at the earliest possible date to discuss the overall bilateral relations and situations in the region,” the ministry official said.
“At each level, we consult over the schedule for bilateral exchanges with the U.S. side, but there is nothing that we can confirm at this point,” the official said.
If the two sides meet, the agenda could include a set of geopolitical issues, given that the U.S. has been seen as trying to close ranks with its regional allies amid its intensifying rivalry with China on multiple fronts, including trade, technology and maritime security.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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