Senior US and Japanese diplomats arrived in Seoul Tuesday to discuss diplomatic measures to tackle North Korea's nuclear and missile threats.
"I am here to focus on our diplomatic efforts to address the issues that confront us about the DPRK," Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan told reporters at Gimpo International Airport. He flew from Japan after a two-day visit.
The DPRK is the abbreviation of North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
|US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, left, and Japan's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Shinsuke Sugiyama shake hands prior to their bilateral meeting at Iikura Guest House in Tokyo Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017. (AP-Yonhap)|
Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Shinsuke Sugiyama also arrived in Seoul to hold three-way talks with Sullivan and South Korean Vice Foreign Minister Lim Sung-nam on Wednesday.
"The main topic would be North Korea, but the trilateral talks will deal with regional and international issues and also reaffirm an importance of solidarity between the three countries," Sugiyama said upon arrival.
Sullivan said in Japan that the US is not ruling out the possibility of direct talks with North Korea, according to Reuters.
On Wednesday, Lim and Sullivan will also hold a strategic dialogue to discuss the North's nuclear standoff and the Seoul-Washington alliance ahead of US President Donald Trump's visit to Seoul on Nov. 7-8 as part of his trip to Asia.
The talks come amid concerns that any miscalculation by North Korea could spark a devastating conflict on the Korean Peninsula.
Tensions have heightened amid exchanges of inflammatory rhetoric between Trump and the North Korean leadership.
The North fired two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July and conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sept. 3. (Yonhap)