The top diplomats of South Korea and the United States held phone talks Sunday to discuss preparations for the upcoming summit between their leaders and other issues of mutual concern, the foreign ministry here said.
US President Donald Trump is to arrive in South Korea on Tuesday for a two-day stay during which he will have a summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
In the phone conversation earlier in the day, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha hoped that Trump's visit will demonstrate the ironclad alliance between the two countries and highlight their close coordination to peacefully and diplomatically resolve North Korea's nuclear stalemate, according to the ministry.
Tillerson said that the US is attaching importance to Trump's visit, hoping that it will be used as a chance to underscore the significance of the bilateral alliance and send a "positive message," including their strong commitment to denuclearizing the North, the ministry said. Tillerson assessed that the two are closely in consultation on the North's nuclear problem.
He also welcomed China's recent move to improve the ties between South Korea and China, expressing hopes that Beijing would ease what is seen as retaliatory economic measures against South Korea following the deployment of the US missile defense system called THAAD here, the ministry said.
Late last month, South Korea and China agreed to put their bilateral relations back on the right track, apparently normalizing ties that have soured over the THAAD deployment.
Tillerson expected the agreement to help relations between the two neighbors and strengthen the diplomatic foundation needed for resolving the North's nuclear issue, according to the ministry. (Yonhap)