1. Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Choi Jong Kun had a meeting with Deputy Secretary of State of the United States Stephen Biegun in Washington, D.C., on the afternoon of September 10, U.S. Eastern Time, and extensively discussed various matters of mutual interest, including the overall Republic of Korea-United States relations, Korean Peninsula issues, and regional affairs.
2. Vice Minister Choi and Deputy Secretary Biegun noted with appreciation that the ROK-U.S. alliance has played a strong role as a linchpin of peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia over the past 70 years, and agreed to continue cooperation and communication on the basis of the steadfast trust built between the Presidents of the two countries over the past three years.
° In particular, the Vice Minister and the Deputy Secretary shared their understanding on the need to establish a tentatively named “Alliance Dialogue,” a director-general-level consultative platform between the two countries' foreign ministries to review and collaborate on various alliance issues.
° With regards to the pending negotiations on the Special Measures Agreement (SMA), the Vice Minister and the Deputy Secretary agreed to continue narrowing differences between the two sides through close communication between themselves as well as between senior representatives of the negotiation to make further meaningful progress in the negotiations.
3. The Vice Minister and the Deputy Secretary shared their assessments of the current situation on the Korean Peninsula and agreed to work closely together for an early resumption of inter-Korean and U.S.-North Korea dialogue.
° Vice Minister Choi extended appreciation to Deputy Secretary Biegun for working tirelessly for progress in the Korean Peninsula peace process and suggested that the ROK and the U.S. collaborate actively to diplomatically support the efforts to build permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula.
° Deputy Secretary Biegun expressed support for the ROK government’s efforts to improve inter-Korean relations.
4. The Vice Minister and the Deputy Secretary also exchanged views on regional and global matters of mutual interest and agreed to continue discussions on ways to promote bilateral cooperation in the region.
5. As can be seen from Vice Minister Choi’s visit to the U.S., which was organized only two months after Deputy Secretary Biegun’s visit to the ROK on July 7-9, in-person high-level diplomacy between the ROK and the U.S. has been actively underway even amid the COVID-19 situation. This demonstrates that strategic communication has been taking place between the two countries in a very close and smooth manner despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
° Vice Minister Choi and Deputy Secretary Biegun agreed to continue close cooperation between the ROK and the U.S. through frequent and various forms of communication. Vice Minister Choi extended to Deputy Secretary Biegun an invitation to the ROK, suggesting that the two countries continue high-level exchanges.