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US to 'positively consider' new dialogue channel with Seoul

South Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-kun at a press conference with correspondents in Washington on Thursday (US time). Yonhap
South Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-kun at a press conference with correspondents in Washington on Thursday (US time). Yonhap

The US will “positively consider” a new director-level dialogue with South Korea, a local news agency reported Tuesday, citing a US Department of State official.

“VFM Choi and Deputy Secretary Biegun agreed that both governments should continue to take steps to strengthen the alliance,” a State Department spokesperson was quoted as saying by a local news agency. The news agency also quoted the spokesperson as saying that US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun agreed to “positively consider” the proposed alliance dialogue.

Vice Foreign Minister Choi is Choi Jong-kun, a former aide to President Moon Jae-in on national security issues, who met with Biegun in Washington on Thursday.

After the meeting Choi told the local media that he and Biegun agreed on the need to establish a new dialogue channel between working-level officials, tentatively called the “alliance dialogue.”

A statement issued by the US Department of State, however, did not mention a new dialogue channel, prompting news reports that no such agreement was made.

Upon returning to Seoul on Saturday, Choi dismissed the reports, saying there was no disagreement on the proposal and that the first meeting of the alliance dialogue is being scheduled for October.

By Choi He-suk (cheesuk@heraldcorp.com)
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