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Top diplomats of S. Korea, U.S. to discuss N.K. nukes in Germany

2017/02/16 10:23

BONN, Germany, Feb. 16 (Yonhap) -- Top diplomats of South Korea and the United States will hold a meeting Thursday to discuss their coordinated approach to North Korea and its nuclear weapons program.

South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se is to have talks with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson later in the day on the sidelines of the Group of 20 foreign ministers' meeting that will be held until Friday in Bonn, Germany, according to the ministry.

The meeting marks the first of its kind since the Donald Trump administration's inauguration on Jan. 20. It will be followed immediately by tripartite talks also including Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida.

The back-to-back meetings come amid heightened tensions surrounding the Korean Peninsula in the wake of the North's recent ballistic missile test Sunday.

They are likely to discuss their joint approach to the growing threat from North Korea, including the use of the so-called secondary boycott aimed at punishing third-country firms involved in transactions with the North.

They could also exchange views on the possible implications brought on by the murder of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's half brother. Pyongyang is suspected of having been behind the killing.

Yun told reporters that the death demonstrates the nature of the North Korean regime and that diplomats attending the G-20 meeting will likely have a keen interest in what impact the murder could have on the diplomatic landscape surrounding the Korean Peninsula.