S. Korean FM, U.S. Homeland Security chief hold talks in Seoul

SEOUL, July 5 (Yonhap) -- South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano held talks in Seoul on Friday, during which they were expected to discuss allegations that Washington had eavesdropped on its ally Seoul, an official said.

The meeting between Yun and Napolitano came at a time when South Korea has asked the U.S. to verify claims by Edward Snowden, a former U.S. government contractor who is on the run for whistleblowing on America's top-secret National Security Agency (NSA). Snowden claimed that the NSA had spied on a total of 38 embassies and diplomatic missions in Washington, including South Korea's.

"While the issue is not directly related to the Homeland Security Department, there is a possibility that the issue could be discussed in general during the meeting," Seoul's foreign ministry spokeswoman Han Hye-jin told reporters on Thursday.

Han had earlier told reporters that South Korea was asking the U.S. to clarify the spying claims and will take action if they are found to be true.

The European Union, France and Germany -- whose embassies are among the 38 diplomatic missions allegedly bugged by the NSA -- have voiced anger against the U.S. government.

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