Fri, February 20, 2009
World > Asia-Pacific > Hillary Clinton kicks off Asian tour

S Korean president asks for stronger alliance with U.S.

2009-02-20 06:27:36 GMT2009-02-20 14:27:36 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak (R, front) meets with visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L, front) at the Presidential Office in Seoul, on Feb. 20, 2009. (Xinhua/NEWSIS)

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak (R) meets with visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the Presidential Office in Seoul, on Feb. 20, 2009.(Xinhua/NEWSIS)

SEOUL, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- South Korean President Lee Myung-bak on Friday asked for stronger alliance with the United States to help Seoul deal with international issues including the nuclear issues on the Korean Peninsula.

At a meeting with visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the Presidential Office, Lee said "It is very important for us to strengthen the relations between Seoul and Washington, as well as those with Japan, China and Russia" to resolve the issues related to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)and other issues.

Hillary Clinton thanked Lee for the warm welcome she has received here, and said the United States is also "very much looking forward" to working with its Asian ally to overcome international security issues such as DPRK's nuclear program, as well as in addressing the world economic crisis, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency said.

Clinton was the highest U.S. official of Obama's administration that visits South Korea since Obama took office in January.

Ahead of the meeting with Lee, Clinton held talks with her South Korean counterpart Yu Myung-hwan.

The South Korean Foreign Ministry said in a news release that Clinton and Yu had in-depth discussions over the South Korea-U.S. alliance, the DPRK nuclear issue and other international issues during their talks.

The two sides reached a consensus on promoting their ties to a strategic alliance, achieving complete and verifiable denuclearization in the DPRK within the framework of six-party talks as well as cooperating against the global financial crisis, the ministry said.

The two sides also agreed to work together on their free trade pacts, the U.S.-led reconstruction project in Afghanistan and the change of world climate.

Clinton arrived here late Thursday after visiting Japan and Indonesia. She will leave for Beijing Friday afternoon to continue her four-nation Asia tour.

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