SEOUL, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha will hold talks with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Washington this week to discuss their countries' planned dialogue with North Korea, the foreign ministry here said Monday.

Kang will travel to the United States on Thursday for a three-day stay for the foreign ministerial talks.

The two top diplomats "plan to share their assessment of the recent rapid progress on the Korean Peninsula and to have in-depth consultations on how to closely cooperate on denuclearizing the peninsula as well as on (envisioned) inter-Korean and U.S.-North Korea talks," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Kang's trip comes as Seoul steps up efforts to broker talks between the U.S. and North Korea to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula and achieve the denuclearization of North Korea.

Last week, South Korean presidential envoys met with President Donald Trump and briefed him on the result of their recent meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. After the meeting last Friday (Korean time), the envoys said Trump agreed to hold a summit with Kim by May to achieve permanent denuclearization.

During the forthcoming meeting, Kang and Tillerson also plan to discuss the United States' recent protectionist measures as well as other economic and trade issues, the ministry said, referring to Trump's recent decision to impose heavy tariffs on steel imports, including those from South Korea.

On the sidelines, Kang also plans to meet with key legislators to ask for their support for alliance issues like the push for a peaceful resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue and the latest trade issues, the ministry added.

Ahead of her visit, Lee Do-hoon, the foreign ministry's chief negotiator on the North Korean nuclear issue, will travel to the U.S. on Wednesday to arrange the foreign ministerial talks, according to the ministry.

Source: Yonhap News Agency