S. Korean, U.S. defense officials agree to strengthen cooperation over peninsula peace
SEOUL, Top defense officials of South Korea and the United States agreed Monday to strengthen cooperation in facilitating ongoing diplomacy to achieve the denuclearization of the peninsula, Seoul's defense ministry said.
South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo held talks with Adm. Philip Davidson, the commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, in Seoul amid a flurry of the allies' talks with the communist state aimed at Pyongyang's nuclear disarmament.
"Minister Song and Adm. Davidson shared the view that close consultations between South Korea and the U.S. are more important than at any other time, as this year marks a significant point for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the establishment of a peace regime," the ministry said in a press release.
"And (the two sides) agreed to reinforce communication and cooperation between the military authorities of the South and the U.S.," it added.
During the talks, Song also expressed his gratitude to the U.S. commander for the sacrifices that American troops made during the 1950-53 Korean War. Monday marked the 68th anniversary of the outbreak of the conflict.
The admiral also had a meeting with Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha to discuss ways to strengthen the alliance.
Kang stressed that denuclearizing the peninsula completely and moving forward a peace regime process are key elements of South Korea's diplomatic efforts, according to her ministry.
She requested the commander play a role in maintaining the "no-daylight" alliance and she pledged every possible effort to support diplomacy with Pyongyang on the basis of a strong combined defense posture.
Source: Yonhap News Agency