Senior US and South Korean officials agreed today (Thursday) to work to persuade North Korea to return to talks on its nuclear program; Pyongyang’s plan is not to protest what it calls US hostility.
According to the Associated Press, US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman is on a part of her regional tour in Seoul and will later travel to China. He is the most senior US official to travel to China since Joe Biden took office in January.
Today, Wendy Sherman met with South Korean Foreign Minister Chong Iwe-young to discuss North Korea, the Seoul-Washington military alliance, and other regional issues.
The two sides agreed to continue close talks to bring North Korea back to the negotiating table and agreed that talks were essential for full nuclear disarmament and lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula, Seoul said in a statement.
According to the statement, the South Korean foreign minister called on Wendy Sherman to strengthen her country’s alliance with the United States. Sherman affirmed that the coalition is key to peace, security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and Northeast Asia.
The United States, Japan and South Korea reaffirmed at a meeting Wednesday that they would work together to disarm North Korea and other regional threats, but no progress was made in bringing the two allies closer together.
Wendy Sherman said in talks with her Tokyo counterparts that the coalition remained “the axis of peace, stability and prosperity”. The officials reiterated the importance of respecting international law, including maintaining freedom of navigation and flying over the South China Sea, and opposed any unilateral attempt to change the current situation in the East China Sea and the Taiwan Strait.