UPDATE : 2018.7.19 THU 14:28
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FM stresses close cooperation with U.S., Japan in tackling N.K. problem

South Korea's foreign minister met Wednesday with senior diplomats from the United States and Japan who are in Seoul for three-way talks to coordinate measures to rein in North Korea.

Kang Kyung-wha emphasized the importance of three countries' cooperation to resolve North Korea's nuclear problem during her meeting with Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Shinsuke Sugiyama.

"A successful resolution of the North's nuclear problem depends heavily on close cooperation among South Korea, the U.S. and Japan," Kang said.

"I hope that the three vice ministers hold discussions in detail and based on them, the three countries seek much closer coordination at the ministerial and leaders' levels," she added.

Sugiyama said that the meeting to be held later in the day with his South Korean and U.S. counterparts -- Lim Sung-nam and John Sullivan -- will be a chance to reconfirm their three-way cooperation.

Kang later had a brief meeting with Sullivan, who is visiting the country ahead of President Donald Trump's Asia trip set for early next month.

"It comes at a wonderful time as we prepare the final touches for President Trump's visit to this region and, of course, my country," Kang said.

Trump is scheduled to visit South Korea on Nov. 7 for a two-day run, following his trip to Japan. After his Seoul stay, he will leave for China.

Kang also asked Washington to send its new ambassador to Seoul as soon as possible, though she understands necessary domestic procedures. The post has been vacant since January.

"We really want to see an ambassador taking up the post. We fully respect domestic procedures but hopefully that will be concluded very soon," she said.

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha (R) speaks with Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Shinsuke Sugiyama in a meeting held in Seoul on Oct. 18, 2017. (Yonhap)

Hwi Won  edt@koreapost.com

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