South Korea to Strengthen Ties with U.S. and Japan Against North Korea at G20 Meetings in Rio de Janeiro

RIO DE JANEIRO - At the upcoming Group of 20 (G20) foreign ministers' meeting in Rio de Janeiro this week, South Korea, the United States, and Japan are expected to reaffirm their united stance against North Korea.

According to Yonhap News Agency, South Korean Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul is set to have his first face-to-face discussions since assuming office last month, with separate bilateral talks planned with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa. These meetings are anticipated to solidify the three nations' collective position in response to North Korea's recent diplomatic moves and potential provocations.

The potential discussions follow a series of significant events, including the establishment of diplomatic relations between Seoul and Havana, North Korea's openness to improving ties with Japan, and concerns over Pyongyang's response to upcoming South Korea-U.S. military drills. Last week, Kim Yo-jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, hinted at a possible thaw in Japan-North Korea relations, contingent on Tokyo's actions and decisions.

Observers suggest that Pyongyang's new diplomatic stance might aim to drive a wedge between Seoul and Tokyo, particularly in light of Seoul's recent diplomatic outreach to Havana, a long-time ally of Pyongyang. This comes as South Korea seeks to strengthen trilateral cooperation with the U.S. and Japan ahead of joint military exercises next month, which are likely to provoke North Korean responses.

The G20 foreign ministers' meeting, scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday in Rio de Janeiro, will address various topics, including the G20's role in navigating geopolitical challenges and enhancing global governance.

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