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 leadership 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.
In a press release put out after the meeting, the foreign ministry said that Kang underlined the importance of cooperation between the three countries in pushing for all possible options, including talks and sanctions to stably manage the security situation and achieve the North's denuclearization peacefully and completely.
Sugiyama shared Kang's view, stressing the need for closer cooperation among South Korea, Japan and the U.S. in the face of the growing threats from the North, according to the ministry.
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 two days, 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 need to be followed. The post has been vacant since January.
"We really want to see an ambassador taking up the post," she said. "We fully respect domestic procedures but hopefully that will be concluded very soon."