South Korea and the U.S. have shared the understanding that North Korea has reached the final stage of nuclear armament and decided to establish joint strategies to respond to the North based on that understanding.
The decision was made during the meeting between South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se and U.S. State Secretary Rex Tillerson in Bonn, Germany on Thursday, the first foreign ministers’ meeting between the two countries since the inauguration of the Trump administration.
According to a Seoul official, Yun and Tillerson spent most of their 25-minute talks, held on the sidelines of the G20 foreign ministers’ meeting, on the North Korean nuclear issue.
The official said the two ministers shared the belief that the North is now in the final stage of arming itself with nuclear weapons.
The official said that Tillerson showed much interest in how to persuade China to put more pressure on the North and that Yun talked in detail about those issues.
It is known that the two ministers also shared an understanding that the U.S. may pursue a secondary boycott sanction on companies of a third country doing business with the North, as a way of pressuring China.
The official said Yun and Tillerson also discussed the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s half-brother Kim Jong-nam, characterizing it as a “very unusual incident.”
The two ministers said they are taking the incident seriously and will closely coordinate on the international community’s response.