World / Asia-Pacific

ROK, US officials discuss DPRK issue in Seoul

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-10-06 16:35

SEOUL - High-ranking US officials visiting Seoul discussed with their Republic of Korea (ROK) counterparts issues on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Monday after top- level DPRK officials' surprise trip to ROK on Saturday.

ROK, US officials discuss DPRK issue in Seoul
DPRK high-level visit signals readiness for dialogue 

Assistant Deputy Secretary of State Daniel Russel and Assistance Deputy Secretary of Defense David Shear arrived in Seoul Sunday and held talks Monday with ROK Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Lee Kyung-soo at the headquarters of Seoul's foreign ministry.

Their visit came after the DPRK's second-in-command Hwang Pyong So made a surprise visit Saturday to ROK for the closing ceremony of the Incheon Asian Games along with Choe Ryong Hae and Kim Yang Gon, secretaries of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea.

Russel told reporters after the meeting that the United States supported ROK's efforts to strengthen and promote inter- Korean relations, noting he talked with Lee about Hwang's recent visit as well as relations between Seoul and Tokyo.

Russel and Shear visited Seoul before flying into Tokyo to discuss revision on the US-Japan defense cooperation guidelines. An interim report on the guidelines were expected to be released this week as Japan reinterpreted its Pacifist Constitution to grant itself the right to collective self-defense.

Russel said that the US and ROK sides had an opportunity, during the meeting with Lee, to share its plan to review the guidelines as part of the continued process of consultations.

Regarding this, Shear said the revised guidelines will strengthen peace and stability in the entire region as well as relations between Tokyo and Washington, noting the US will closely consult with ROK during this process.

Russel is scheduled to fly into Japan this afternoon, and Shear will move to Tokyo on Wednesday.


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