South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong (R) and US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry pose for a photo as they meet for dinner talks at Chung's official residence in Seoul on Saturday in this photo released by the foreign ministry. (Foreign Ministry)
South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong on Saturday hosted a dinner meeting with US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry in Seoul to discuss bilateral cooperation to fight climate change.
The meeting came hours after Kerry arrived in Seoul following his four-day stay in Shanghai where he discussed cooperation with Chinese officials on the climate issue ahead of the virtual Leaders Summit on Climate to be hosted by US President Joe Biden next week.
Chung and Kerry agreed to continue strengthening cooperation between Seoul and Washington in their joint responses to climate change, the foreign ministry said in a press release after the closed-door talks at Chung's official residence.
They also shared the view that the two countries' leading role is needed to muster international solidarity to achieve the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.
Chung conveyed "serious" concerns from the South Korean government and citizens over Japan's recent decision to discharge into the ocean contaminated water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, while asking for the US' cooperation in ensuring Japan will offer related information in a "transparent, swift" manner.
The two sides also agreed to cooperate to create "synergy" between the climate summit and the Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals summit, which Washington and Seoul plan to host virtually next week and in May, and ensure these summits will contribute to the success of the UN climate change conference slated for November.
Before the meeting, Kerry wrote in a visitors' book, "Thank you very much for Korea's leadership on the climate crisis."
Though Chung and Kerry met in person for the first time in their current capacities, they had phone talks twice last month in a show of close coordination on the global environmental issue.
Seoul has been actively cooperating with Washington in the fight against climate change, a nonpolitical issue that the US regards as a realm for cooperation even with its strategic rival, China. (Yonhap)