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(LEAD) S. Korean president holds talks with U.S. Senate, House leaders

2017/06/30 01:09

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(ATTN: UPDATES with more details in paras 4-7; ADDS photo)

WASHINGTON, June 29 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in held back-to-back meetings with leaders of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on Thursday.

Moon was first joined by a group of U.S. representatives, including House Speaker Paul Ryan and floor leaders of both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party -- Kevin McCarthy and Nancy Pelosi, respectively.

Also at the meeting were Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Mac Thornberry (R-TX), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, according to the South Korean presidential office, Cheong Wa Dae.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in (second from R) speaks in a meeting with leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives, including House Speaker Paul Ryan (L), at the U.S. congressional building in Washington on June 29, 2017. (Yonhap) South Korean President Moon Jae-in (second from R) speaks in a meeting with leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives, including House Speaker Paul Ryan (L), at the U.S. congressional building in Washington on June 29, 2017. (Yonhap)

Welcoming President Moon, the house speaker said their countries' relationship remained very strong.

He also expressed hope they will continue discussing ways to further strengthen their bilateral cooperation in dealing with issues of mutual concern, such as military provocations from North Korea.

Moon said the two countries and their people were united in dealing with humanitarian issues, offering his condolences to majority whip Steve Scalise, who was shot by a gunman while practicing baseball in Virginia earlier this month.

"I and all my people sincerely wish for Rep. Scalise's quick recovery," he said at the start of the meeting with the U.S. representatives.

The meeting at the congressional building was followed by talks with leaders of the U.S. Senate, including majority leader Mitch McConnell and heads of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the Armed Service Committee -- Bob Corker (R-Tenn) and John McCain (R-Ariz).

The meetings highlighted the second day of Moon's four-day trip here for a summit with U.S. President Donald Trump.

Moon and his wife, Kim Jung-sook, were later set to attend a dinner at the White House hosted by Trump and his wife, Melania.

The first South Korea-U.S. summit under their incumbent administrations will be held Friday.

Moon and Trump are set to hold a joint press briefing following their bilateral talks.

bdk@yna.co.kr

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