(LEAD) FM Cho to visit U.S. for talks with Blinken: Seoul foreign ministry

Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul will visit the United States next week for talks with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to discuss bilateral ties and North Korea's threats, Cho's office said Thursday. The talks -- scheduled for Wednesday -- will mark his first bilateral meeting with Blinken since he took office last month. The trip will come on the heels of Cho's visit to Rio de Janeiro, where he has been attending a foreign ministers' meeting of the Group of 20 nations. In Brazil, Cho and Blinken are set to take part in the three-way talks with their Japanese counterpart, Yoko Kamikawa, Thursday (local time), but no bilateral meeting is planned. At the upcoming talks, Cho and Blinken will discuss and reaffirm the solid alliance between South Korea and the U.S., and assess the implementation of the agreements reached between the two sides in the follow-up to the leaders' summits last year, foreign ministry spokesperson Lim Soo-suk said in a briefing. The two sides will also discuss ways to "strengthen the South Korea-U.S. extended deterrence capabilities, and ways to bolster the alliance in light of economic security," Lim said. Extended deterrence refers to the U.S. commitment to mobilizing all of its military capabilities, including nuclear, to defend its ally. Enhancing the credibility of the U.S.' extended deterrence was a key pillar of the joint declaration adopted by President Yoon Suk Yeol and U.S. President Joe Biden at their April summit in Washington last year. Cho and Blinken could also discuss North Korea's recent escalation in its bellicose rhetoric and missile provocations, as well as its expanding cooperation with Russia and their suspected illicit arms deals. Cho is also expected to address the U.S Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) that provides tax credits for electric vehicle purchases and the CHIPS and Science Act that gives subsidies for semiconductor manufacturing, a foreign ministry official said. "The minister will request the U.S.' attention to help resolve uncertainties over the po licies related to the IRA and the CHIPS act to ensure that our companies can receive the benefits and subsidies that correspond with their investment in the U.S.," the official said. In Washington, Cho also plans to meet with key figures from Congress and academia and seek to request bipartisan support for and cooperation in the development of the South Korea-U.S. alliance. Officials said that Cho could visit the U.N. mission in New York during his trip and meet with some government officials of the Joe Biden administration, including those at the White House National Security Council. Source: Yonhap News Agency