U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told a regular press briefing Tuesday that Washington is "continuing to consult" with Korea over revelations that the National Security Agency wiretapped foreign leaders.
She said the consultations are going on "with a range of countries" that "includes the U.K., Spain, Italy, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, South Korea, India."
This is the first time the U.S. government has explicitly mentioned Korea in the context.
Earlier, Seoul asked Washington to clarify rumors that Korean presidents were among the foreign leaders targeted by the NSA.
In July, the Guardian reported based on documents disclosed by former NSA employee Edward Snowden that the agency eavesdropped on encrypted faxes and conversations among staffers of the U.S. embassies of 38 countries, including Korea, France, India and Japan.
Politicians here have also begun to address the matter. Saenuri Party lawmaker Chung Woo-taik said if the allegations are true, Seoul should "protest firmly" and demand pledges that the spying stops.
Democratic Party lawmaker Woo Sang-ho pointed out that if the wiretaps of the Korean Embassy and the president date back to 2006, Washington could have had advance knowledge of Korea's strategies during free trade negotiations with the U.S.