(LEAD) Yoon meets ex-U.S. Secretary Pompeo, discusses Korean Peninsula issues

President Yoon Suk Yeol met with former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to discuss issues surrounding the Korean Peninsula, as well as the Seoul-Washington alliance, the presidential office said Thursday.

During the meeting held in Seoul with Pompeo, who served as the top U.S. diplomat under then President Donald Trump from 2018 to 2021, Yoon asked him to continue to pay close attention to South Korea’s efforts to seek peace on the Korean Peninsula backed by the strong alliance.

Yoon also expressed his willingness to enhance cooperation with the United States on North Korea and to pursue closer trilateral cooperation involving Japan.

In response, Pompeo was quoted by the presidential office as saying that the alliance between Seoul and Washington has become stronger under the leadership of Yoon, whose administration shares common values with the U.S.

Pompeo added that he hopes the alliance will keep developing regardless of the political situation in the U.S. and wishes for closer bilateral cooperatio
n, as well as strengthened trilateral ties, regarding North Korean issues.

Pompeo met with Foreign Minster Cho Tae-yul later Thursday, with Cho’s office saying the two exchanged thoughts on the alliance, trilateral cooperation involving Japan, and North Korean nuclear issues, among others.

Per the foreign ministry, Cho recognized Pompeo’s effort to denuclearize North Korea and promote the South Korea-U.S. alliance while in office.

Pompeo responded that Washington will continue to value the Seoul-Washington ties and stay committed to its extended deterrence in South Korea, regardless of the administration.

According to the ministry, Cho and Pompeo also discussed the U.S. push for a summit with North Korea and denuclearization talks during the Trump administration. The two agreed that South Korea and the U.S. should try to take lessons from the past while pursuing the complete denuclearization of North Korea.