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Foreign minister: Korea-U.S. summit will be held within the year

Foreign minister: Korea-U.S. summit will be held within the year

Posted June. 17, 2015 07:21,   


Korea and the U.S. have started tuning schedule of the summit between the two countries under the premise that the meeting will be held within this year. The summit was postponed due to the rise of MERS case in Korea.

Foreign Affairs Minister Yun Byung-se, who is currently visiting the U.S., met National Security Advisor Susan Rice on Monday (local time) in Washington, and exchanged opinions on the time of President Park Geun-hye`s visit and ensuing agenda.

"The U.S. government (and of course we also) thought that the summit should be held as soon as possible," the Korean minister told Korean correspondents in Washington after the meeting. "We have learned that working-level staff in the U.S. were putting a lot of thought and review into tuning the summit schedule following U.S. President Barack Obama`s demand."

"We expect to discuss about when it will be comfortable for both sides to meet, and that at a not distant time," he also said. "The U.S. said Korea and the U.S. are enjoying a prime time in their relations, and we believe that once a summit is held comprehensive issues will be discussed and they can be drawn up in a document."

"There is a possibility that the summit will be held earlier than expected for the two countries to clearly share that they are allies," a diplomatic source in Washington said. "But since President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping will have a summit in September in Washington, Korea-U.S. summit is likely be scheduled before or after that time."

North Korea and the North Korean nuclear issues will be on top of the agenda. Yun said, "Both South Korea and the U.S. are sharing ideas for sending consistent message on these issues, which will be one of the most important issues at the summit." Regarding the Korean-Japan past history, he said, "This is not an official issue for the summit, but the U.S. has interest and is asking us (about the situation) and we are also explaining our efforts to improve Korea-Japan relations," hinting that the issue will be talked along the sidelines of the summit.

Regarding President Park`s interview with the Washington Post on Friday where she said there has been a considerable advance on the comfort women issue, Yun said, "To solve this issue, we should accelerate further various efforts including the ongoing director-level talks between two countries," guarding any over-interpretation.

Earlier that day, Yun joined a signing ceremony for the revised Korea-U.S. atomic energy agreement with U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz. This was to complete the procedures between the two governments after a provisional signing in Seoul on April 22 when the agreement was made. Major contents include partial research of uranium enrichment and retreatment of nuclear fuel after its use, inclusive agreement on exports of nuclear technology, and production of radiation isotope for medical use. The written agreement stipulates that transferred nuclear substances, equipment and components will not be used for military purpose, blocking any possibility of a nuclear weapon development and nuclear test using the atomic energy agreement. The U.S. government plans to enact the agreement after deliberation at the Congress, while Korea doesn`t need separate process of parliament approval.