US diplomat-Seoul visit

SEOUL, March 25 (Yonhap) -- The acting U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asia, Joseph Yun, is set to arrive in South Korea on Monday for talks on a range of bilateral and regional issues, officials said.

Yun's three-day trip to Seoul is part of his Asian tour that includes China and Japan.

In Seoul, Yun will meet with senior South Korean officials "to consult and coordinate on a range of bilateral and regional issues, including measures to strengthen our bilateral engagement and to deepen our security and defense cooperation," the U.S. State Department said in a statement.

South Korea and the U.S. have been in consultations on how to beef up punitive sanctions against North Korea for its recent nuclear test.

The U.S. imposed its own sanctions on the Foreign Trade Bank of North Korea, Pyongyang's primary foreign exchange bank, and four officials responsible for the country's ballistic missile program.

The U.S. sanctions are in addition to the U.N. sanctions announced earlier this month that tightened restrictions on North Korea's financial dealings, notably its suspected "bulk cash" transfers.

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