South Korea is making efforts to maintain its strong alliance with the United States no matter who becomes president in the upcoming election there, a senior foreign ministry official said Friday.
"It is important to keep good ties both with Democratic and Republican parties to advance South Korea-U.S. relations going forward," Kim Hyoung-zhin, a deputy foreign minister, said during a forum held in Seoul.
"Whoever becomes president, we will push to further improve the strategic alliance between Seoul and Washington," he added.
He made the remarks during the forum where participants discussed the outlooks for the presidential election in the U.S. slated for November. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have both been nominated as presidential candidates, for the Republican and Democratic parties, respectively.
Government officials here are paying close attention to who will win the election, as both candidates have quite different ideas on key issues like trade and diplomacy that could have a significant impact on ties between Seoul and Washington.
The deputy foreign minister said that Trump is expected to push for polices aimed at placing top priority on U.S. interests, while Clinton is likely to focus on strengthening U.S. leadership in the world, suggesting that she would be actively involved in global affairs.
Regarding North Korea and its nuclear and missile programs, he said that Clinton's foreign policy would not change much from that of President Barack Obama but could seek "a little more offensive" stance towards Pyongyang.
For Trump, he didn't share his own views, only to say that the Republican nominee has said that he will put more economic pressure on China so that it will help change the North's attitude.