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S. Korean defense chief, US commander vow strong cooperation for NK denuclearization

(Ministry of National Defense)
(Ministry of National Defense)
Defense Minister Suh Wook and Adm. Phil Davidson, commander of the US Indo-Pacific Command, discussed the security situation on the Korean Peninsula Tuesday and vowed a stronger combined readiness posture to support diplomacy to denuclearize North Korea, Seoul's defense ministry said.

The US commander arrived here Monday for a two-day visit as part of his trip to Asia.

During the meeting in Seoul, Suh and Davidson "shared the importance of the command's role for the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the establishment of a permanent peace, and agreed to maintain a strong combined defense posture to militarily support diplomatic efforts made jointly by the two nations," according to the ministry.

North Korea is believed to have continued to advance its nuclear and missile capabilities amid stalled denuclearization talks with the US During a massive military parade held earlier this month, the regime unveiled a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM).

The two sides also discussed regional security circumstances and a variety of alliance issues, the ministry noted.

Suh expressed gratitude for the command's role in the repatriation of remains of South Korean troops killed during the 1950-53 Korean War from Hawaii in June.

Davidson said that South Korea's response to the new coronavirus has greatly contributed to the stable stationing of the US Forces Korea, according to the ministry.

Prior to the meeting with Suh, the US commander met with Gen. Won In-choul, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and discussed key issues of mutual interest, it added.

Earlier in the day, Davidson also met with US Ambassador to Seoul Harry Harris and "talked about the US-ROK alliance," the ambassador tweeted. ROK is the acronym of South Korea's official name, the Republic of Korea.

The commander is scheduled to leave for Japan later in the day before returning to Hawaii, according to officials. (Yonhap)