AIRLINK 60.49 Decreased By ▼ -1.11 (-1.8%)
BOP 6.27 Increased By ▲ 0.01 (0.16%)
CNERGY 4.05 Decreased By ▼ -0.08 (-1.94%)
DFML 15.89 Decreased By ▼ -0.31 (-1.91%)
DGKC 68.72 Increased By ▲ 1.07 (1.58%)
FCCL 17.73 Decreased By ▼ -0.18 (-1.01%)
FFBL 25.51 Decreased By ▼ -0.09 (-0.35%)
FFL 9.02 Decreased By ▼ -0.24 (-2.59%)
GGL 9.84 Decreased By ▼ -0.21 (-2.09%)
HBL 115.18 Increased By ▲ 0.38 (0.33%)
HUBC 111.80 Decreased By ▼ -0.70 (-0.62%)
HUMNL 6.63 Decreased By ▼ -0.02 (-0.3%)
KEL 4.52 Increased By ▲ 0.06 (1.35%)
KOSM 4.56 Increased By ▲ 0.01 (0.22%)
MLCF 38.01 No Change ▼ 0.00 (0%)
OGDC 121.07 Decreased By ▼ -4.54 (-3.61%)
PAEL 21.79 Decreased By ▼ -0.73 (-3.24%)
PIAA 10.93 Decreased By ▼ -0.15 (-1.35%)
PIBTL 6.05 Decreased By ▼ -0.42 (-6.49%)
PPL 106.68 Decreased By ▼ -1.72 (-1.59%)
PRL 27.42 Decreased By ▼ -0.63 (-2.25%)
PTC 10.53 Decreased By ▼ -0.27 (-2.5%)
SEARL 52.05 Decreased By ▼ -0.75 (-1.42%)
SNGP 66.93 Increased By ▲ 0.13 (0.19%)
SSGC 11.64 Increased By ▲ 0.23 (2.02%)
TELE 7.07 Decreased By ▼ -0.13 (-1.81%)
TPLP 11.50 Decreased By ▼ -0.44 (-3.69%)
TRG 81.85 Increased By ▲ 4.05 (5.21%)
UNITY 21.16 Decreased By ▼ -0.53 (-2.44%)
WTL 1.27 Decreased By ▼ -0.05 (-3.79%)
BR100 6,484 Decreased By -14.8 (-0.23%)
BR30 22,098 Decreased By -168.1 (-0.76%)
KSE100 63,219 Decreased By -86.8 (-0.14%)
KSE30 21,306 Increased By 9.6 (0.05%)

SEOUL: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is due to arrive in Seoul on Wednesday for talks with his South Korean counterpart, as the allies step up cooperation in the face of growing concerns over North Korea’s closer military ties with Russia.

The two-day visit, the first by a US secretary of state in two and a half years, is part of Blinken’s broader Asia trip that has included meetings with G7 counterparts and talks with Japanese officials in Tokyo, as well as a later stop in India amid the Israel-Hamas conflict.

The Seoul visit comes as the United States and South Korea, along with Japan, have condemned what they say is the supply of arms and military equipment by North Korea to Russia.

Washington and Seoul see the closer military ties between the North and Russia, which is thought to be suffering depleting stocks of munitions in its war with Ukraine, as an effort by Pyongyang to secure strategic military capabilities in return.

North Korea is preparing to launch a spy satellite after having failed twice this year to put one in orbit. South Korea’s spy agency said last week North Korea was in the final stages of preparations for the launch after apparently receiving technical assistance from Russia.

Pyongyang and Moscow have denied claims of arms deals while their leaders pledged closer military cooperation when they met in September in Russia’s far east.

South Korea’s military said on Monday it was on alert over possible North Korea provocations after Pyongyang designated Nov. 18 as “missile industry day” to commemorate the country’s launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) last year.

North Korea in November in 2022 tested the Hwasong-17 ICBM, a weapon potentially able to deliver a nuclear warhead to anywhere in the United States.

With aid from the United States, South Korea also plans to launch its first spy satellite on Nov. 30 on a SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket from the US military’s Vandenberg base.

A US official has said the United States remained focused on the Indo-Pacific despite other global challenges and Blinken’s trip demonstrated such “enduring” commitment.

US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin is also due to visit South Korea this week on a trip that will include Indonesia and India.

North Korean state media KCNA on Wednesday criticized the visits by Blinken and Austin saying they would bring a “new war cloud” in the Asia-Pacific region, citing a commentator on international affairs.

Blinken calls for G7 ‘clear voice’ on Gaza

In Washington, US and South Korean officials held talks on North Korea’s illicit cyber activities that they say fund its unlawful weapons programs, South Korea’s foreign ministry said.

Sanctions monitors have accused the reclusive state of using cyberattacks to gather funds for its nuclear and missile programs, and a United Nations report said the North stepped up its cryptocurrency thefts, using sophisticated techniques to steal more in 2022 than any other year.


200 characters