S. Korea-US-FM phone talk

SEOUL, March 15 (Yonhap) -- The top diplomats of South Korea and the United States will hold phone talks this weekend to discuss a range of issues, including North Korea, Seoul officials said Friday.

Other topics of the scheduled phone talks between South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday will include a planned visit to Washington by South Korean President Park Geun-hye in May, said the foreign ministry officials.

The phone conversation will be the first between the top diplomats of the allies since they took up their posts in the recent past. Yun assumed his post earlier this week.

The phone contact comes ahead of Kerry's planned visit to Asia in mid-April that will take him to Seoul, Beijing and Tokyo.

South Korean officials said that in the phone talks, Yun will certainly discuss heightened tension on the Korean Peninsula following North Korea's recent nuclear test and stress the importance of a stronger alliance between the two countries.

North Korea is ratcheting up war rhetoric almost daily in response to the U.N. Security Council's adoption of new sanctions on it for its Feb. 12 nuke test.

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