Top diplomats of S. Korea, U.S. reaffirm close coordination on N. Korea

WASHINGTON-- The top diplomats of South Korea and the United States on Tuesday reaffirmed the countries' continued close coordination on North Korea, both sides said, as nuclear talks with Pyongyang show little sign of progress.

During their talks in Silicon Valley, California, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed recent developments on the Korean Peninsula, Seoul's foreign ministry said in a press release.

The pair "exchanged views on managing the situation to maintain the momentum for and resume the denuclearization dialogue process through close South Korea-U.S. coordination," it said.

The two sides also held in-depth discussions on further strengthening the bilateral alliance while recognizing that the countries have expanded their cooperation in a mutually beneficial manner, it said.

On tensions in the Middle East, the ministry said Kang and Pompeo shared their concerns and agreed to work together with the international community to restore peace and stability in the region.

It made no mention of the possibility of South Korea deploying troops to the Strait of Hormuz off Iran to support U.S.-led security operations there.

The U.S. State Department issued a readout stating that the two top diplomats discussed regional and global issues, including the importance of trilateral cooperation with Japan.

"Secretary Pompeo and Foreign Minister Kang reaffirmed continued close U.S.-ROK coordination on North Korea," it said, referring to South Korea by the acronym of its formal name, the Republic of Korea. "The Secretary and Foreign Minister Kang praised the enduring strength of the U.S.-ROK Alliance and reiterated their commitment to cooperation across the U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy and the ROK New Southern Policy."

Kang and Pompeo later held trilateral talks with their Japanese counterpart, Toshimitsu Motegi, during which they discussed three-way cooperation on the North Korean nuclear issue, as well as their assessments of the situation in the Middle East, according to the South's foreign ministry.

"The three ministers reaffirmed the importance of South Korea-U.S.-Japan coordination for achieving the joint goal of the complete resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue and regional peace and stability," it said.

According to the State Department, the three sides agreed on the importance of the U.S. alliances with South Korea and Japan to security and prosperity in the region and the world.

"They also stressed that trilateral cooperation is essential to ensure the future of peace in the region," the department said in a separate readout.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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