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Pompeo discusses COVID-19 with Kang, other top diplomats

(Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
(Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

WASHINGTON -- US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday spoke with his counterparts from six nations, including South Korea, to discuss cooperation against the coronavirus pandemic, the State Department said.

The video-conference involved Pompeo, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, and their counterparts from Australia, Brazil, India, Israel and Japan.

"Secretary Pompeo and his counterparts discussed the importance of international cooperation, transparency, and accountability in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic and in addressing its causes," the department said in a readout. "They also discussed collaboration toward preventing future global health crises, reaffirming the importance of the rules-based international order."

The readout suggests that China's response to the outbreak was of top concern. Pompeo has mounted a verbal attack on Beijing for what he describes as suppression of information regarding the pandemic, which started on Chinese soil.

The virtual conference came several days after Kang and Pompeo spoke by phone to discuss the two countries' response to COVID-19.

During that call, Pompeo thanked Kang for Seoul's close cooperation and information sharing regarding the highly contagious disease, and reaffirmed the strength of the bilateral alliance, according to an earlier department readout. (Yonhap)