This photo, taken on Wednesday, shows US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman speaking during a press conference in Tokyo. (Yonhap)
US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman was set to meet Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong and other Seoul officials on Thursday for talks on stalled diplomacy with North Korea and other shared challenges, officials said.
Sherman arrived here on Wednesday for a three-day visit, after she and her South Korean and Japanese counterparts, Choi Jong-kun and Takeo Mori, held three-way talks in Tokyo to highlight trilateral cooperation against a recalcitrant North Korea and an assertive China.
Her Asia swing comes as Washington pushes to reinforce cooperation with its allies and partner countries amid an intensifying rivalry with China over technological leadership, maritime security and trade.
At 10 a.m., Sherman plans to pay a courtesy call on Chung. They are expected to discuss the bilateral alliance, stalled dialogue with Pyongyang and cooperation in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.
During the talks, Sherman could also touch on China-related issues, as Washington has been hardening its stance against Beijing's policies on Hong Kong, the Xinjiang region, the East and South China Seas and the Taiwan Strait.
Beijing remains defiant, as President Xi Jinping has warned in a recent speech for the Communist Party's centenary that potential adversaries would "crack their heads and spill blood on the Great Wall of steel" should they "bully, oppress or enslave" his country.
Later on Thursday, Sherman is also expected to meet with other Seoul officials.
On Friday, Sherman and her South Korean counterpart, Choi, will hold a bilateral strategic dialogue on a wide range of issues, likely including strengthening supply chains for chips and large-capacity batteries.
The two countries' last such vice ministerial session took place in July last year.
Sherman is set to depart for Mongolia on Friday. She also plans to visit China and Oman later. (Yonhap)