Vice foreign minister due in Washington to meet U.S., Japanese counterparts

SEOUL– South Korea’s vice foreign minister embarked on a trip to Washington on Sunday for talks with his American and Japanese counterparts on North Korea and other pending issues.

Choi Jong-Kun plans to hold a three-way meeting with Wendy Sherman, the U.S. deputy secretary of state, and Japan’s Vice Foreign Minister Takeo Mori in Washington on Tuesday (U.S. time).

The three are expected to discuss latest diplomacy surrounding the North Korean nuclear stalemate and could also potentially discuss the results and details of the U.S.-China online summit scheduled for Monday.

It is to mark the first vice-ministerial meeting of the three countries since July in Japan. The trio has held eight rounds of such meetings since April 2015.

Among other issues expected to be covered are the proposed declaration of a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War and the global supply chain crisis.
Choi is also scheduled to hold separate one-on-one meetings with Sherman and Mori, respectively, in Washington.

On Monday, Choi and Sherman are expected to discuss ways of reopening diplomacy surrounding the Korea Peninsula peace process and ongoing multilateral efforts to restore a 2015 Iran nuclear agreement.

Although South Korea is not part of the landmark accord, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the allies have maintained communication on the matter, especially with Iranian assets here frozen under fresh U.S. sanctions.

Talks between Choi and Mori will be the start of full-fledged high-level Seoul-Tokyo consultation following the launch of the new Japanese Cabinet under Prime Minister Fumio Kishida last month.

Choi is also scheduled to deliver a keynote address at the Republic of Korea-U.S. Strategic Forum 2021, co-hosted by the Korea Foundation and the Center for Strategic and International Studies, on Monday in Washington. He will then travel to Boston on Thursday for a lecture at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. He is scheduled to return home on Saturday.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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