03 August 2017

News Story: S. Korea eyes trilateral FM talks with U.S., Japan

SEOUL, Aug. 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korea is pursuing a trilateral foreign ministerial meeting with the United States and Japan to discuss North Korea's nuclear stalemate and other issues of mutual concern, a foreign ministry official said Wednesday.

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha is to attend foreign ministerial meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) early next week in Manila, the Philippines. They include the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), a rare gathering attended by North Korea.

"On the sidelines of the ASEAN meetings, we are arranging a trilateral meeting among the foreign ministers of South Korea, the U.S. and Japan," a ministry official told Yonhap News Agency on customary condition of anonymity.

"We are pushing to hold such a meeting but the final timetable has yet to be confirmed. Finding a time that satisfies the three top diplomats with busy schedules is very hard," he added.

They didn't hold trilateral talks during last year's ASEAN meetings in Laos.

Seeking a three-way meeting is aimed at strengthening cooperation in dealing with the North in the wake of its recent missile provocations, he said.

On Friday night, the North test-fired what it claimed to be an intercontinental ballistic missile, marking the second such provocation in a month.

Concerns are lingering that South Korea might be bypassed in the process dominated by the U.S. and other major powers in dealing with the North's nuclear threat.

Read the full story at YonhapNews