US president-elect Barack Obama vowed to closely cooperate with South Korea on achieving the nuclear disarmament of communist North Korea, the presidential office in Seoul said Friday, dpa reported.
Obama promised South Korean President Lee Myung Bak in a telephone conversation to further strengthen the alliance between their two countries. The incoming US president referred to the Seoul-Washington relationship as a "cornerstone of peace and stability in Asia," Lee's office said.
The two leaders also agreed to closely cooperate in dealing with the global financial crisis.
South Korea is taking a keen interest not only in trade relations but also in the future direction of US policy toward North Korea after Obama's victory.
Obama indicated during his campaign that he was in principle willing to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il. South Korea and the United States cooperate within the framework of six-nation talks that have the aim of persuading North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons programme.
According to the Seoul presidential office, Obama told Lee that he was an "admirer" of South Korea and both leaders agreed to meet as soon as possible. Two days after his election victory on Tuesday, Obama talked to a number of foreign leaders.
Lee plans to participate in a Group of 20 summit on the financial crisis on November 14 and 15 in Washington. It was expected that Obama would use the opportunity to personally meet other leaders ahead of his January inauguration.