Defense minister discusses N. Korea with U.S. lawmakers

SEOUL-- South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo held a series of meetings Monday with visiting U.S. lawmakers, during which they reaffirmed a robust alliance, his ministry said.

Han met with Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), head of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, at his office, hours after North Korea fired another ballistic missile.

Han gravely warned the North against its reckless provocation, which comes less than a month after the South's liberal Moon Jae-in administration took office.

It marked the North's third ballistic missile test since the launch of the Moon government on May 10.

He made it clear that Pyongyang will only face the deepening of its isolation and troubles should it stick to a provocative mode, the ministry said in a press release.

Han appreciated bipartisan support by the U.S. Congress for the alliance forged in blood during the 1950-53 Korean War.

In response, Thornberry emphasized that the time-honored alliance will remain robust under the new South Korean administration.

Gardner was quoted as telling Han that the Capitol Hill's support for and assistance with the alliance will continue.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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