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FM Chung to hold talks with US, British, Indian and EU counterparts at G7 gathering

By Yonhap

Published : April 30, 2021 - 17:39

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This photo, taken on April 21, 2021, shows Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong speaking during a forum with local journalists in Seoul. (Yonhap) This photo, taken on April 21, 2021, shows Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong speaking during a forum with local journalists in Seoul. (Yonhap)
Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong will hold bilateral talks with his US, British, Indian and European Union counterparts on the margins of a Group of Seven (G7) session in London next week, his ministry said Friday.

The first in-person gathering of G7 foreign and development ministers in over two years is set to take place from Monday to Wednesday. South Korea, Australia, India, South Africa and Brunei, the chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, have been invited as guests to the meeting.

Chung is scheduled to hold talks with his British counterpart, Dominic Raab, for what will be the two countries' sixth foreign ministerial strategic dialogue at the Chevening House in Kent near London on Thursday.

The two sides plan to discuss the stable development of bilateral relations following Britain's exit from the European Union, the situation on the Korean Peninsula and global issues, such as climate change and public health, the ministry said.

Chung also plans to meet separately with his US, Indian and EU counterparts -- Antony Blinken, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Josep Borrell -- on the sidelines of the G7 gathering. The ministry did not mention when these talks are set to take place.

Drawing attention is whether Chung will hold his first talks with his Japanese counterpart, Toshimitsu Motegi, at the multilateral forum.

Chung's ministry did not announce any plan for dialogue between the ministers, but a diplomatic source here said that efforts have been under way to set up bilateral talks as well as a trilateral meeting involving Secretary Blinken.

Chung has made overtures for dialogue with Motegi "in any format," but Motegi has not acceded to that call amid protracted rows over Tokyo's wartime forced labor, sexual slavery and export curbs.

Relations between Seoul and Tokyo have shown no signs of improvement, as Japan has renewed territorial claims to Korea's easternmost islets of Dokdo and plans to discharge into the ocean radioactive water from its crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant despite safety concerns.

The agenda for the G7 meeting includes joint efforts to ensure equitable access to vaccines, recover from the pandemic, support girls' education in underdeveloped countries and tackle climate change. (Yonhap)