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U.S. lawmaker calls Seoul-Washington alliance 'cornerstone' in regional peace

A visiting U.S. lawmaker has called the alliance between the United States and South Korea a "cornerstone" for regional peace and stability, expressing his conviction in its value and importance, the foreign ministry said Friday.

Rep. Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is visiting South Korea, along with his colleagues Reps. Bill Flores and Ted Lieu. They met with Vice Foreign Minister Lim Sung-nam on Thursday in Seoul.

"During the meeting, Rep. Royce said he has conviction in the value and importance of the Korea-U.S alliance as a cornerstone for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and the Northeast Asian region," the ministry said in a press release.

"He expected that their visit to South Korea will serve as a chance to demonstrate again to South Koreans about how firmly the U.S. Congress and its people are supportive of the alliance between the two countries," it added.

Lim noted that Seoul-Washington ties have been evolving beyond the security area toward a comprehensive global alliance, the ministry said. He praised the U.S. Congress for its non-partisan backing for Korea-related bills and asked its continued interest and support going forward.

He, in particular, praised the recently announced move by the U.S. Treasury Department to designate the North as a prime money laundering concern, saying that the move demonstrated the strong commitment by the administration and Congress to carry out sanctions against Pyongyang.

Both Seoul and Washington have slapped unilateral sanctions on the North, with the partners expressing strong resolve to fully implement the United Nations sanctions imposed on the reclusive regime after Pyongyang conducted its fourth nuclear test in early January and fired off a long-range rocket a month later. (Yonhap)

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