FM emphasizes importance of alliance with US, asks for full parliamentary support

By Yonhap
  • Published : Sept 27, 2017 - 13:53
  • Updated : Sept 27, 2017 - 13:53
South Korea's top diplomat has emphasized the importance of alliance with the United States in dealing with the evolving threat from North Korea's nuclear and missile programs and called for full support from the US parliament, the foreign ministry here said Wednesday.

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha held discussions with bipartisan groups of lawmakers from the Senate and the House of Representatives in back-to-back meetings in Washington on Tuesday, according to the ministry.

Kang had talks separately with a group of congresswomen, including Rep. Nancy Pelosi, and lawmakers of the foreign affairs committee of the Representatives of House. She also met with Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Senate armed services committee, the ministry said.
In this Associated Press photo taken Sept. 21, 2017, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha speaks during a UN Security Council meeting at the UN headquarters in New York. (Yonhap)

During the meetings, Kang explained in detail about the Seoul government's approach to the North and underlined the importance of South Korea-US alliance in easing tensions on the Korean Peninsula, according to the ministry.

Kang asked for their full support for efforts to intensify sanctions and pressure on the North in order to use it a "diplomatic means" to bring the North to the negotiating table, the ministry said.

She still placed emphasis on managing things "sternly" but in a "cool-headed" manner despite the tensions heightened by North Korea's recent bombastic rhetoric.

The lawmakers, meanwhile, expressed concerns over the rising tensions in the wake of the North's continued provocations and emphasized that there shouldn't be a war again on the Korean Peninsula, the ministry said.

They also reaffirmed their unwavering bipartisan support for peace and stability in the region. Some underlined the need to faithfully enforce U.N. sanctions, while at the same time trying to induce a change from inside the North by making outside information flow into the reclusive state.

Sen. McCain, in particular, promised that he will provide every possible support in his capacity as chairman of the Senate armed services committee for South Korea to maintain deterrence strong enough to overwhelm the North's threats, according to the ministry. (Yonhap)