Top diplomats of S. Korea, U.S. to meet in San Francisco
Updated: 2020-01-14 16:02:22 KST
South Korea's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha arrived in San Francisco on Monday for talks with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
During their talks set for Tuesday, local time, the top diplomats are expected to discuss ways to bring North Korea back to the negotiating table as well as recent tensions in the Middle East.
There's also speculation Washington may ask Seoul to join a U.S.-led initiative to safeguard the Strait of Hormuz near Iran.
Upon arriving in San Francisco, Kang didn't take questions from reporters, but before she left for the U.S., she said the matter is under consideration and Seoul's decision would in part be based on her discussions with Pompeo.
"The government has been reviewing the matter. I will listen to the thoughts of the U.S. and what they say about what we've been looking at. Then the content of our discussions will be taken into consideration when our government makes its decision."
And as part of efforts to facilitate progress on North Korea issues, Seoul's top nuclear envoy Lee Do-hoon will be heading to Washington on Wednesday for talks with his U.S. counterpart Stephen Biegun who doubles as the Deputy Secretary of State.
The two officials will discuss the situation on the Korean peninsula and ways to cooperate to achieve denuclearization.
Lee and Biegun last spoke by phone on New Year's Day after North Korea threatened to showcase "a new strategic weapon" and take "shocking actual action" in protest over the stalled denuclearization talks.
Over the weekend, the North said talks can only resume when Washington fully accepts Pyeongyang's demands, while warning South Korea not to interfere in North Korea-U.S. matters.
Meanwhile, also in Washington, South Korea and the U.S. will hold a fresh round of negotiations on defense cost-sharing on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The two sides failed to reach an agreement before the previous deal expired last year due to deep differences over the cost and scope of a new agreement.
Speaking to reporters upon arrival, Seoul's chief negotiator Jeong Eun-bo said the allies are in the process of narrowing their differences, but that they're still apart on how to reach a comprehensive deal.
Kim Min-ji, Arirang News.