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Top U.S. officials on Korea to visit Seoul this weekend

Senior U.S. government officials handling Korean affairs are to visit Seoul this weekend for meetings with their counterparts on ways to strengthen the alliance between the two countries and to discuss other pending issues, officials said Thursday.

   Assistant Deputy Secretary of Defense David Shear said he and Assistant Deputy Secretary of State Daniel Russel will make a joint trip to Seoul to talk about ways to further bolster the traditional alliance between the two countries.

   "I look forward to arriving in Seoul this Saturday with Assistant Secretary of State David Russel to work toward strengthening this alliance," Shear said during a speech at a reception held at the residence of South Korean Ambassador to Washington Ahn Ho-young to mark the National Foundation Day and the Armed Forces Day.

   Shear did not elaborate on his travel plans.

   But diplomatic sources said that Shear and Russel plan to meet with their Korean counterparts during the three-day visit to Seoul for talks on various issues, including preparations to hold a "two plus two" meeting of the foreign and defense ministers of the two countries. 

   The American officials also plan to visit Japan after Seoul, the sources said. (Yonhap)

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