Our starting point tonight: The very first phone call between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and the U.S. President-elect Joe Biden.
Seoul’s top office says their commitment to the robust South Korea, U.S. alliance and Korean Peninsula issues took center stage which was pretty much echoed by a readout by Biden’s transition team.
Our senior Blue House correspondent Kim Minji is live at the nation’s top office.
Minji, the very first official dialogue between Moon and Biden. How long was this phone call, did they discuss North Korean denuclearization?

President Moon Jae-in and the U.S. President-elect Joe Biden reaffirmed their commitment to a robust alliance and a peaceful and prosperous Korean Peninsula.
They had their first phone call on Thursday morning, Korea time, lasting 14 minutes.
It comes four days after Biden claimed victory.
Here’s Seoul’s presidential spokesperson.

“President Moon said that he hopes to communicate closely with the U.S. for the development of the Seoul-Washington alliance and for denuclearization and lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.”

Separately, Biden in a statement from his transition team said he looks forward to working closely with Moon in solving the North Korea nuclear issue.
He added that he wants to strengthen the alliance as the linchpin of security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.
The president-elect also expressed hope that the two countries can cooperate on global issues, such as tackling COVID-19, responding to climate change and reviving the global economy.
Moon and Biden also agreed to meet at an early date once the president-elect takes office.

Many Korean peninsula analysts have been closely watching this first dialogue between President Moon and the President-elect considering Seoul’s outstanding issues with Washington.
It looks like the Moon, Biden talks today did manage to touch on issues that needed to be addressed albeit very briefly.
Now that summit diplomacy has kicked off, can we expect the South Korean government to step up communication with the incoming administration?

Yes, South Korea is expected to step up communication with the incoming U.S. administration on various fronts, especially diplomacy, as it seeks to get inter-Korean affairs back on track.
In particular, the government will likely put great emphasis on resuming the stalled denuclearization talks between North Korea and the U.S.
Mind you, Seoul has played a key role in facilitating those negotiations.
But the two sides will have some juggling to do in terms of approach and time frame though, with Biden expected to pursue a more cautious and systematic approach compared to President Donald Trump.
Moon and Biden also agree on the need for a summit at an early date which could spark some momentum, although that’ll largely depend on the COVID-19 situation.

Already, South Korea’s foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha was in Washington to meet with lawmakers close to Joe Biden.
There, she stressed the importance of Pyeongyang and Washington resuming talks and emphasized that they should prioritize establishing summit-level dialogue.
Seoul’s unification minister Lee In-young is also considering a trip to the U.S.
Back to you, Conn-young.

Our Kim Minji live from Seoul’s presidential Blue House.Thanks, Minji.

Reporter : kimmj@arirang.com


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