Top diplomats of S. Korea, U.S. discuss N. Korea in phone call
Published : 2013-03-16 15:39
Updated : 2013-03-16 15:39
The top diplomats of South Korea and the United States on Saturday vowed to maintain their strong alliance and cooperate to deter North Korean threats during their first phone talks, Seoul officials said.
South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shared their opinions about North Korea and regional issues over the phone prior to Kerry visiting Seoul next month as part of his first Asia trip, officials at the foreign affairs ministry said.
Kerry will travel to South Korea, Japan and China in mid-April.
During the 10-minute conversation, the two agreed to fully implement U.N. Security Council sanctions on Pyongyang over its Feb. 12 nuclear test and work together to prevent the communist nation from making additional provocations, officials said.
Kerry stressed the strong alliance between the two nations and vowed continual support to handle North Korea and other issues, officials quoted him as saying.
Yun vowed to closely cooperate with U.S. partners to solve regional problems, including Pyongyang's nuclear program, and prepare measures to achieve peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in the Asia-Pacific region, officials said.
In response to the Pentagon's announcement to bolster the missile defense against North Korea's provocations, Yun said the S. Korea-U.S. annual drills, which are now in full swing, will improve joint forces' combat readiness to guard against potential threats, officials said.
Kerry invited Yun to visit his country next month to prepare the agenda for a summit between South Korean President Park Geun-hye and U.S. President Barack Obama in May, they noted. (Yonhap News)