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US, South Korea discuss complete denuclearization of Korean Peninsula

News Agencies | Updated on: 12 February 2021, 12:54 IST

South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-Yong and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stressed close bilateral cooperation for the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula during their first phone talks on Friday, said the South Korean foreign ministry, reported Yonhap News Agency.

"The minister and the secretary stressed that they will cooperate closely for the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," said the press release of the foreign ministry.

The move comes against the backdrop of stalled talks between Pyongyang and Trump's administration. Seoul seeks to strengthen policy coordination with the administration of US President Joe Biden to resume the dialogue and ensure that the North Korean nuclear issue remains among Washington's top foreign policy priorities.

The leaders also shared the importance of their countries' cooperation with Japan in the conversation.

In Washington, the State Department said Blinken pledged "full partnership" to strengthen the alliance.

"The secretary ... pledged full partnership to enhance the strength of the US-ROK Alliance (Republic of Korea), which is the linchpin of peace, security, and prosperity for Northeast Asia, a free and open Indo-Pacific region, and across the world," read the US State Department statement.

"Secretary Blinken highlighted the importance of continued US-ROK-Japan cooperation, underscored the need for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula," added the statement.

The South Korean release stated, "They also shared the understanding that it is important to continue cooperation between South Korea, the US and Japan and shared concerns over the recent situation in Myanmar."

The two sides also reaffirmed that the South Korea-US alliance is a "linchpin" of peace, stability and prosperity in Northeast Asia, the Indo-Pacific region and the entire world, and agreed to continue to develop the alliance to contribute to responding to pending global challenges and promoting shared values, said the South Korean ministry.

In addition, both leaders agreed to hold high-level consultations as soon as possible to discuss pending bilateral issues.

The ministry did not elaborate on the bilateral issues, but they are expected to include coordination on a strategy to bring Pyongyang back to dialogue and other issues such as protracted negotiations on the sharing of the cost for stationing American troops here, reported Yonhap News Agency.


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First published: 12 February 2021, 12:54 IST