South Korean National Security Adviser Suh Hoon (R) converses with his US and Japanese counterparts -- Jake Sullivan (C) and Shigeru Kitamura (L) -- at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, on April 2, 2021, in this photo provided by the South Korean Embassy in Washington. (South Korean Embassy)
South Korea's presidential office on Sunday denied as "incorrect" a Japanese report that the United States asked Seoul to join the US-led Quad forum.
The Yomiuri Shimbun, a major Japanese daily, reported earlier in the day that US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan had strongly requested Seoul join the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue group, also known as Quad, during a meeting with his South Korean counterpart Suh Hoon early this month.
"(The newspaper's) citation is very inaccurate and the article itself does not reflect what was discussed between South Korea and the US," a senior official at Cheong Wa Dae said.
The official stressed that "close" and "productive" discussions about their North Korea policies and cooperation among the allies took place at the bilateral meeting between South Korean and US national security advisers and the three-way meeting with their Japanese counterpart at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
Another Cheong Wa Dae official also dismissed the report, saying South Korea has never been asked to join the US-forum also involving Japan, Australia and India.
During his visit to South Korea last month, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken described the Quad as "an informal grouping of like-minded countries" and said that the US is already working closely with Seoul on deepening cooperation on many issues. (Yonhap)