Blinken, South Korea foreign minister discuss North Korea, Myanmar - Metro US

Blinken, South Korea foreign minister discuss North Korea, Myanmar

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden visits the State Department in Washington

SEOUL (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has held his first phone call with South Korea’s new foreign minister, Chung Eui-yong, both governments said, reaffirming a commitment to ridding the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons, amid stalled talks between Washington and North Korea.

In the call with Chung, who took office on Tuesday, Blinken pledged full partnership to enhance the strength of the U.S.-South Korea alliance, the State Department said in a statement issued late on Thursday in Washington.

Blinken and Chung also expressed concern over the military coup in Myanmar, according to statements issued by both sides.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un Kim and former U.S. President Donald Trump vowed during their first summit in 2018 to build new relations and work toward complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

But their second summit in 2019 and subsequent working-level talks collapsed as the United States rejected North Korea’s offer to dismantle its main nuclear facility in return for sanctions relief.

U.S. President Joe Biden has not announced any new North Korea policy, but South Korean officials have urged his administration to follow through on progress made by Kim and Trump.

(Reporting by Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru and Hyonhee Shin in Seoul; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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