U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton visits Seoul, Tokyo amid heightened trade tensions
Updated: 2019-07-22 10:12:49 KST
U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton has left for South Korea and Japan amid increasing trade tensions between the two neighbors over wartime forced labor.
The spokesperson for the White House National Security Council tweeted Saturday that Bolton departed for Seoul and Tokyo to continue conversations with critical allies and friends.
Bolton tweeted the next day that he met with Senator Sullivan to discuss major national security issues as well as his stops in Seoul and Tokyo.
Dan Sullivan is a member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
South Korea's presidential Blue House confirmed Bolton will be in Seoul on Tuesday and Wednesday.
He's expected to meet his South Korean counterpart, Chung Eui-yong as well as Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo.
Analysts forecast Bolton could be coming to Northeast Asia with a message from President Trump, as the U.S. President has said he's willing to help, if needed.
"So maybe if they would both want me to, I'll be, it's like I'm it's like a full time job getting involved between Japan and South Korea. But I like both leaders, I like President Moon. And you know how I feel about Prime Minister Abe. He's a very special guy also. So, if they need me I'm there."
During his trip to Seoul, Bolton may also seek support for protecting the Strait of Hormuz from Iranian attacks as well as issues regarding the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
It remains to be seen whether Bolton could alleviate Seoul-Tokyo tensions, or revive trilateral high-level talks among Seoul, Washington and Tokyo.
Kim Hyo-sun, Arirang News.