Seoul: top US diplomat for East Asia holds talks on the alliance and economic ties
Seoul: top US diplomat for East Asia holds talks on the alliance and economic ties

Seoul: The top US diplomat for East Asia arrived in Seoul on Wednesday for his first Asia trip since taking office in September, with North Korea, the bilateral alliance, and economic cooperation likely to be at the top of his agenda in talks with Seoul officials.

The US assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, Daniel Kritenbrink, arrived at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, after a four-day trip to Japan, the first leg of a six-day regional swing. According to media reports, Seoul is pushing to strengthen joint efforts with Washington to resume dialogue with Pyongyang while navigating increasingly convoluted geopolitics marked by escalating Sino-US rivalry.

On Thursday, Kritenbrink plans to meet his South Korean counterpart, Yeo Seung-bae, deputy minister for political affairs, and other senior officials to discuss issues on the Korean Peninsula, according to informed sources. At the talks, the two sides could touch on South Korea's push for the declaration of a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War, which Seoul officials say would be a catalyst to resume nuclear diplomacy with the North and bring the stalled peace process back on track. Nuclear talks with the recalcitrant regime have been stalled since a 2019 Hanoi summit between the US and the North ended without a deal.

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