The top diplomats and defense chiefs of the U.S. and South Korea will discuss Thursday how to strengthen their alliance and cope with the threat posed by North Korea.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will host South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan and Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin.
The State Department says the meeting will cover a full range of bilateral, regional and global issues. But attention is likely to focus on North Korea.
The North in April attempted to blast a rocket into space, violating a U.N. ban, and speculation then grew it was preparing a nuclear test.
Last week, Pyongyang said it has no current plans to conduct one, despite what it called South Korean provocation.