South Korean FM Nominee Commits to Addressing North Korean Nuclear Threat, Strengthening Ties with China

SEOUL - Cho Tae-yul, the nominee for South Korea's Foreign Minister, expressed his commitment on Wednesday to enhancing the country's deterrence against North Korea's nuclear threat and deepening relations with China. This announcement comes as Seoul navigates its diplomatic position between Beijing and Washington.

According to Yonhap News Agency, who previously served as a second vice foreign minister and ambassador to the United Nations, his appointment on Tuesday is part of South Korea's broader strategy to bolster cooperation with the United States and Japan in response to escalating missile and nuclear threats from North Korea. "As it is difficult to seek denuclearization or resume dialogue now, I will make efforts with my colleagues to focus on strengthening deterrence against North Korea while seeking ways toward dialogue and negotiation given the grave reality," Cho stated to reporters in Seoul while preparing for his parliamentary confirmation hearing.

Cho also acknowledged the complex global challenges impacting diplomatic efforts, such as the war in Ukraine and the intensifying U.S.-China rivalry. He noted that the diplomatic environment regarding North Korea's nuclear issue has worsened significantly since his tenure as U.N. ambassador from 2016 to 2019.

Furthermore, Cho highlighted the importance of South Korea's relationship with China, positioning it on par with the South Korea-U.S. alliance. This emphasis comes at a time when President Yoon Suk Yeol's government has been focusing on restoring ties with the U.S. and Japan. Cho emphasized his intention to find a balance in managing relations with both superpowers.

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