Seoul-Washington alliance ‘truly stronger than ever,’ State Department official says

SEOUL– The U.S. State Department’s point man on East Asia stressed Tuesday the Seoul-Washington alliance is stronger than ever, speaking after meetings with South Korean officials in Seoul.

“I just finished a couple of tremendous meetings with my Korean counterparts and we were able to, again, reaffirm the strength of our alliance, which I think is truly stronger than ever,” Daniel Kritenbrink, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, told Yonhap News Agency.

He met his South Korean counterpart, Choi Young-sam, and other officials at Seoul’s foreign ministry, having arrived here the previous day from Beijing on a regional trip that will also include a visit to Tokyo.
He added the U.S. was “absolutely committed” to its alliance with South Korea, which celebrates its 70th anniversary next year. Krintenbrink, who is scheduled to depart for Japan on Wednesday, said he plans to meet other Seoul officials but declined to share more details.

Asked about how Washington would handle Seoul’s concerns over the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), Kritenbrink just said, “We are always committed to addressing the concerns of our closest allies and that applies to the Republic of Korea as well.”

The ministry later said that Choi and Kritenbrink exchanged views on various issues of mutual interests, including ways to strengthen the alliance and Korean Peninsula issues as well as regional and global cooperation.

The two sides also agreed to work together to further develop their global comprehensive strategic alliance in celebration of the alliance’s 70th anniversary next year, according to its press release.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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