SEOUL — South Korea on Wednesday called for dialogue to maintain regional peace and stability as tensions between the US and China soared over US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan.
Pelosi is also due to visit South Korea as part of her Asian tour, which has so far been dominated by her dramatic late-night arrival in Taipei Tuesday, enraging Beijing.
She is the highest-profile elected US official to visit Taiwan in 25 years, and China has made clear that it regards her presence as a major provocation, launching increasingly stark warnings and threats.
Beijing considers self-ruled, democratic Taiwan as its territory and has vowed to one day take the island, by force if necessary.
South Korea's presidential office called for regional peace and stability through dialogue ahead of Pelosi's expected arrival in Seoul late Wednesday.
"Our government's stance is to maintain close communication with relevant parties... on the basis that peace and stability in the region through dialogue and cooperation are important," an official from the presidential office told reporters.
Pelosi's trip to Seoul has been shrouded in mystery, and her only confirmed meeting in South Korea so far is with National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo on Thursday.
"We welcome Speaker Pelosi's visit to Korea," the official said, adding the presidential office was hoping for "many achievements" at Thursday's meeting.
President Yoon Suk-yeol will not be meeting with Pelosi as he is currently on holiday, the official added.