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S. Korea, U.S. seek to hold high-level security talks next year
BUSAN, Nov. 30 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and the United States are seeking to hold high-level security talks involving foreign affairs and defense chiefs next year to step up security and diplomatic cooperation, a senior Seoul official said Wednesday.

   Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reached a consensus to arrange the so-called "Two Plus Two" talks next year, when they held talks earlier in the day in Busan on the sidelines of a global aid forum, the official said on the condition of anonymity.

   "At today's meeting, the two ministers reached a consensus to hold the 'Two Plus Two' talks sometimes next year," the official said.

   Seoul and Washington held the "Two Plus Two" talks for the first time in July last year, amid heightened tensions following North Korea's sinking of a South Korean warship.

   At that time, Clinton announced a series of new sanctions against North Korea as punishment for the North's torpedo attack on the Cheonan warship that killed 46 South Korean sailors.

   About 28,500 U.S. troops are stationed in South Korea, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War.