Washington's top official on East Asia policy, David Stilwell, says the U.S. will do what it can to help South Korea and Japan quickly resolve their trade dispute.
He was speaking to reporters in Seoul on Wednesday after meeting with foreign minister, Kang Kyung-wha.
"The truth is, no significant issue in this region can be resolved without cooperation between our two allies, Korea and Japan. So fundamentally the ROK and Japan must resolve these sensitive matters, and we hope that resolution happens soon. The U.S. as a close friend and an ally to both will do what it can to support their efforts to resolve."
Stilwell also met Wednesday with his South Korean counterpart Yoon Soon-gu, Seoul's Deputy National Security Advisor Kim Hyun-chong and the top nuclear envoy Lee Do-hoon.
Other agenda items included strengthening bilateral ties.