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Seoul, Washington to hold strategic dialogue next week

Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan will visit Seoul next week for strategic talks with First Vice Foreign Minister Lim Sung-nam on Oct. 18, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Wednesday.

They will discuss U.S. President Donald Trump’s planned trip to South Korea, slated for November, North Korea’s nuclear threats and bilateral relations, the ministry said.

This will be Sullivan’s first trip to South Korea since President Moon Jae-in’s administration began its term in May.

It will also be the first time since June 2014 that the two allies have held strategic talks between their No. 2 diplomats.

“We expect South Korea and the U.S. will be able to bolster their coordination and alliance through the strategic dialogue next week,” a foreign ministry official said.

Meanwhile, Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Shinsuke Sugiyama will join Lim and Sullivan later on Oct. 18 for three-way talks.

They will share thoughts on various issues regarding regional security, such as North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs, management of the Korean Peninsula situation and the Seoul-Washington-Tokyo alliance.

The three countries last held a meeting among their No. 2 diplomats in January, in Washington, D.C.

Lim and Sugiyama are also scheduled to hold a separate meeting on Oct. 18.

Sullivan’s trip comes in the wake of a war of words between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Although his aides have been stressing diplomacy over military action to resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis, Trump has been ratcheting up his belligerent rhetoric on the Kim regime.

Lim and Sullivan previously met in August when the former visited Washington, D.C.

Lim’s visit then was to meet relevant American officials, including those on the National Security Council, according to the foreign ministry.

Source: Korea Times

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