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Top diplomats of S. Korea, Vietnam discuss cooperation on NK threats

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Published : 2017-03-20 17:20
Updated : 2017-03-20 17:20

The foreign ministers of South Korea and Vietnam discussed how to jointly rein in North Korea's prohibited nuclear tests and missile launches during their talks in Vietnam on Monday.

South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se met with Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, who is doubling as a deputy prime minister, in the Southeast Asian country to celebrate the countries' 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations.

South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se (L) is shaking hands with Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh before their talks in Hanoi on March 20, 2017. (Yonhap)

During the talks, Yun brought up the issue of North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, stressing that the programs pose a threat to the peace and stability of the Asian and the international community, according to sources. The minister also emphasized the necessity of Vietnam's faithful implementation of United Nations Security Council resolutions on North Korea, the sources noted.

The South Korean side also drew on the arrest of a Vietnamese woman in Malaysia in link with the recent killing of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's half brother Kim Jong-nam as well as the use of the prohibited chemical weapon, nerve agent VX, in the incident, calling for Vietnam's cooperation to heap international pressure on Pyongyang over the issues, the sources added.

"The South Korea-Vietnam relationship has been the most exemplary of South Korea's foreign ties since the end of the Cold War," Yun said in the opening speech of the talks.

"Last year, Vietnam emerged as South Korea's fourth-biggest trading partner, with bilateral trade volume surpassing $4.5 million," the South Korean foreign minster also said, adding that "The countries will find no major difficulties in bringing their trade volume to $7 million by 2020."

The Vietnamese foreign minister said the talks "would become an opportunity to discuss in details the methodology as well as the direction of improving the countries' friendly ties."

The South Korea-Vietnam talks came after Yun's meeting with US State Secretary Rex Tillerson in Seoul last week, during which, sources said, they agreed to jointly work toward rallying Southeast Asian countries' support for tougher sanctions and pressure on North Korea. (Yonhap)