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S. Korea, U.S. FMs hold talks in Seoul Updated: 2021-03-17 14:06:13 KST

Good evening and welcome to viewers around the world. I'm Kim Ji-yeon in Seoul.
We start off with the arrival of U.S. secretaries of state and defense in Seoul for talks with their South Korean counterparts.
First, we go live to our foreign ministry correspondent Yoon Jung-min.
Jung-min, what are the top agendas of the talks held today?

Right, Ji-yeon.
Just a few moments ago, South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong sat down for talks with his U.S. counterpart, Antony Blinken, the Secretary of State.
Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin are the first Cabinet-level officials to visit Seoul since President Biden took office.
The agenda mainly covers Korean Peninsula affairs, the bilateral alliance and regional and global issues.
It's likely that the officials will discuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the new U.S. policy on North Korea, which is currently under review.
Eyes are on whether we will be hearing from Blinken himself on the policy toward Pyeongyang.

The agenda would also include bolstering Seoul-Washington alliance, as well as trilateral cooperation between Seoul, Washington and Tokyo.
Before coming here, Blinken and Austin were in Japan for talks with their Japanese counterparts during which they reaffirmed the importance of the trilateral cooperation on the denuclearization of North Korea.
Observers say the U.S. might also want to strengthen the trilateral relationship to counter the rise of China.
Other issues include the fight against COVID-19 and climate change.

What's in store for tomorrow's "two plus two" meeting?

Tomorrow, the South Korean and American officials will hold the first "two plus two" meeting of their diplomatic and defense chiefs since 2016.
It's the first time for it to be held in Seoul in 11 years, because the more recent ones were held in Washington.
After the meeting, they're going to attend the signing of the new Special Measures Agreement, which governs the allies' defense cost sharing.
Also, they will announce a joint statement and hold a press conference.

Just to remind you
Blinken and Austin chose Seoul and Tokyo as their first destinations overseas.
Observers say it really shows that the Biden administration is focusing on and prioritizing Asia in its foreign policy and national security policy.

Back to you, Ji-yeon.
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