"Secretary of State Rex Tillerson finished the confirmation by Congress and officially took office earlier. The (South Korean) government welcomes the move. As Tillerson has a deep understanding of and interests in Korean Peninsula issues, his inauguration is expected to bring the South Korea-U.S. ties one step closer" Cho June-hyuck said is quoted as saying by the Yonhap news agency.
Cho added that Seoul plans to have close communications with the top US diplomat on "key issues of interest."
During his confirmation hearings in January, Tillerson promised to continue US sanctions against North Korea in an effort to put pressure on the nation’s nuclear program. Tillerson also vowed to put an end to Beijing’s "empty promises" to place sanctions on Pyongyang.
The situation on the Korean peninsula has become increasingly heated over recent months, with North Korea escalating its ballistic missile and nuclear tests.
On September 9, North Korea conducted its fifth nuclear test in violation of international law. The international community condemned the nuclear test, and imposed harsh sanctions on Pyongyang following an earlier test in January.