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No. 2 diplomats from U.S., S. Korea, Japan to hold talks next week

The No. 2 diplomats from the United States, South Korea and Japan will hold trilateral talks in Hawaii next week, the State Department announced Wednesday.

The July 14 meeting will involve U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken, South Korean First Vice Foreign Minister Lim Sung-nam and Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Shinsuke Sugiyama, the department said in a statement.

"The meeting will be the fourth round of deputy-level trilateral consultations and will continue our close coordination with these two important U.S. allies on shared regional and global priorities," it said.

North Korea is expected to be a key topic at the talks as the U.S. has sought to increase pressure on Pyongyang for its nuclear and missile programs, as well as the regime's human rights abuses.

South Korea's foreign ministry said later in a press release that the meeting is expected to provide a chance for the three countries to discuss how to coordinate their response to provocations by the North, including the June 22 intermediate range missile test and also review the implementation of sanctions and exchange views on how to step up the sanctions on the communist country.

The ministry also said that South Korea is pushing to hold bilateral meetings with the U.S. and Japan separately during the gathering. (Yonhap)


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