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S. Korea, US defense chiefs discuss deterrence against NK threats in phone talksBy Yonhap
Published : Oct. 20, 2023 - 10:25
South Korea's new defense minister held phone talks with his US counterpart for the first time Friday to discuss the allies' efforts to deter North Korea's nuclear and missile threats, Seoul's defense ministry said.
The talks between Defense Minister Shin Won-sik and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin came as the two sides are set to meet in Seoul next month for the annual Security Consultative Meeting.
It marked Shin's first phone talks with Austin since he took office earlier this month.
"The two sides emphasized the need to maintain a strong combined defense posture to deter and respond to North Korea's nuclear and missile threats," the ministry said.
To that end, they noted the need to continue to expand security cooperation between South Korea, the United States and Japan based on their leaders' Camp David agreement in August, it added.
During the Camp David summit, President Yoon Suk Yeol, US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida agreed to hold annual, multi-domain trilateral exercises on a regular basis in a move to enhance cooperation.
Austin also reaffirmed the "ironclad" US extended deterrence commitment to South Korea, and the two sides agreed to communicate frequently on key security issues, according to a release from the Pentagon.
Extended deterrence refers to the US commitment to using the full range of its military capabilities to defend its ally.
The two defense chiefs also agreed to continue talks in person in Seoul next month at the SCM and a defense ministerial meeting of UN Command member states hosted by South Korea, Shin's office said. (Yonhap)
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