The Korea Herald


S. Korean FM to visit U.S. to discuss N. Korea, regional issues

By 배지숙

Published : Dec. 31, 2013 - 17:00

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   South Korea's top diplomat plans to visit Washington in early January for talks with U.S. officials on key regional issues, including North Korea, Seoul's foreign ministry said Tuesday.

   Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se is scheduled to meet with Secretary of State John Kerry and other senior U.S. officials, foreign ministry spokesperson Cho Tai-young said.

   Yun and Kerry last had a face-to-face meeting in September in New York.

   During the upcoming visit, Yun will discuss "such issues as bilateral ties and those on the Korean Peninsula; Northeast Asia; and global affairs," the spokesman said, without elaborating further.

   South Korea is confronted with a series of diplomatic challenges amid uncertainty in the region.

   North Korea is widely believed to be experiencing a political upheaval following the execution of leader Kim Jong-un's once-powerful uncle earlier this month, which has raised fears of instability on the Korean Peninsula.

   Tensions in Northeast Asia have also risen, following Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's recent visit to the controversial Yasukuni war shrine in Tokyo. The visit has angered South Korea and China, while the three countries have also been in conflict over their overlapping air defense zones.

(Yonhap News)