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Blinken to visit South Korea; North Korea, Russia on agenda
Blinken to visit South Korea; North Korea, Russia on agenda
World
Blinken to visit South Korea; North Korea, Russia on agenda
by DZRH News02 November 2023
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken testifies before a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on President Biden's $106 billion national security supplemental funding request to support Israel and Ukraine, as well as bolster border security, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 31, 2023. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

SEOUL (Reuters) -U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit South Korea on Nov. 8 and 9 to discuss North Korea and alliance issues with Foreign Minister Park Jin, South Korea's foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

Park and Blinken will also discuss economic security, cooperation on industrial technology and regional issues of mutual interest, the ministry said.

The visit marks the first by a U.S. secretary of state in two and a half years. It comes amid heightened security cooperation between the allies and growing concerns about North Korea's military cooperation with Russia.

South Korea and the United States, along with Japan, recently condemned the supply of arms and military equipment by North Korea to Russia, laying out what they said was evidence that confirmed deliveries of such shipments.

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Washington and Seoul see the closer military ties between the North and Russia, which is thought to be suffering depleting stocks of munitions in its war with Ukraine, as an effort by Pyongyang to secure strategic military capabilities in return.

North Korea and Russia have denied claims of arms deals while pledging to expand their ties.

North Korea's foreign minister, Choe Son Hui, has demanded an explanation on how trilateral military drills by the United States South Korea and Japan did not pose a threat to regional security.

Pyongyang has escalated the development of tactical weapons and longer-range ballistic missiles, threatening to annihilate South Korea, which Pyongyang accuses of working with the United States to wage war.

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North Korea has also pledged to launch a spy satellite, having failed twice this year to put one in orbit.

South Korea, a major arms exporter has resisted Western pressure to help arm Ukraine directly over possible repercussions to its business interests in Russia.

(Reporting by Jack KimEditing by Ed Davies and Gerry Doyle)

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