The U.S.-South Korea Foreign and Defense Ministerial Consultation meeting has made it clear that the alliance will "strongly and consistently respond to any North Korean provocation, in particular regarding North Korean nuclear and missile threat."
Addressing the media after the so-called 2+2 meeting in Washington on Thursday, South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-Jin said through the meeting, the two countries confirmed once again that the South Korea-U.S. alliance is more solid than ever.
The 2+2 ministerial meeting was held at a strategically critical moment amid continuing provocative threats from North Korea and volatile security environment in that country, a time which calls for a proactive alliance response.
Both sides agreed to strengthen policy coordination to reaffirm the strong U.S. commitment to provide extended deterrents and to develop extended deterrent policies in an effective and substantial way. They also agreed to strengthen alliance capability against North Korea's increasing asymmetric threats such as cyber threats like the DDoS attack and GPS jammings.
Further, the two countries confirmed that the 2015 transition of operational control and the building of a new combined defense system are progressing as planned. It has also been confirmed that the South Korean military will acquire the critical capabilities needed to lead the combined defense, and the U.S. military will provide bridging and engineering capabilities.
The two nations also confirmed that U.S. Forces Korea bases relocation projects such as YRP and LPP are well underway and agreed to work to ensure that these projects are completed on time. "We assess that combined exercises in the West Sea and Northwest Islands deter North Korean provocation and greatly contribute to the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula. We agreed to continue these exercises under close bilateral coordination," Kim told reporters.
Next year marks the 60th anniversary of the South Korea-U.S. alliance which was born in 1953 with the signing of the ROK-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty. In the past six decades, the two countries worked to ensure a perfect security of the peninsula and have developed the alliance into the most successful alliance in history. In the future, the two countries will expand and deepen the scope and level of defense cooperation from the Korean Peninsula, and to the regional and global security issues, will continue evolving the alliance into the best alliance in the world for the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula, and of the world, Kim said.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta hosted their respective South Korean counterparts Kim Sung-Hwan and Kim Kwan-Jin at the 2+2 meeting.
by RTT Staff Writer
For comments and feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org