1. The ROK Deputy Foreign Minister for Multilateral and Global Affairs Ham Sang-wook and the U.S. Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Bonnie Jenkins held a High-Level bilateral Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Consultation at the U.S. Department of State on October 26.
○ The ROK and the U.S. have been holding this high-level bilateral consultation with a view to strengthening their partnership vis-a-vis issues concerning disarmament, non-proliferation and global security. Held for the first time since the inauguration of the Biden administration, the consultation on October 26 was a follow-up to the ROK-U.S. Summit held this May where the two Leaders reaffirmed their willingness to strengthen cooperation in the areas of non-proliferation and civil use of atomic energy, among others.
2. At the consultation, the two sides engaged in an extensive exchange of views and agreed to continue working closely not only on traditional issues such as non-proliferation of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons but also on emerging security issues in new domains such as space.
○ For the upcoming 10th Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference (RevCon) in January 2022, the two countries shared their commitment to take this opportunity to reinforce the NPT as the cornerstone of global disarmament and nonproliferation regime.
○ With regard to space security, the two sides agreed to continue their discussion on the possibility of establishing relevant international norms and on promoting substantive cooperation through, in particular, the 5th Space Policy Dialogue to be held in Seoul next year.
○ In addition, the U.S. explained its ongoing efforts regarding the Strategic Stability Dialogue with Russia, and the ROK expressed its support for the efforts by the U.S. and Russia towards establishing a next-generation arms control regime.
○ The U.S. wished the ROK success with regard to the upcoming 20th ROK-U.N. Joint Conference on Disarmament and Non-proliferation Issues to be held in Seoul on November 11 and 12, which will be held in a meaningful year of the 30th anniversary of the simultaneous admission of the ROK and the DPRK into the U.N.
3. Meanwhile, Deputy Foreign Minister Ham also met with Thomas Countryman, Senior Advisor for the 10th NPT Review Conference at the State Department. They shared their views and priorities for the upcoming Review Conference and agreed to work closely to make the Review Conference a success.