SEOUL, Jan. 29 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn will have a phone conversation with U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday (Washington time), a news agency reported.
|This photo, provided by the Prime Minister's Office on Jan. 27, 2017, shows Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn speaking on the phone with the staff of the Dongmyeong Unit, a South Korean military contingent operating in Lebanon.|
Citing the White House statement, Reuters reported President Trump "will speak to the leaders of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and South Korea in separate calls on Sunday."
The talks with Hwang will be the first between the two leaders, although Trump did talk with President Park Geun-hye on the phone on Nov. 10 (Korea time) soon after his victory in the general election.
During Trump's conversation with Park, he said the United States will be "steadfast and strong" in defending against a provocative North Korea.
"We are with you all the way and will not waver," Trump said in the 10-minute conversation with Park.
Hwang has assumed all executive powers since Park was impeached by parliament on Dec. 9 for corruption allegations involving her close friend. Her impeachment trial is under way at the country's Constitutional Court.
Alarmed by a series of campaign remarks by Trump that were skeptical of military alliances and trade deals with American allies and partners, Seoul has been trying to maintain close ties with Washington, its top security ally.
On the campaign trail, Trump made a host of speeches that questioned the economic value of U.S. security partnerships with allies like South Korea and Japan, and disparaged the South Korea-U.S. free trade agreement as a "job-killing" deal.
Kim Jung-mi firstname.lastname@example.org
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