USFK chief Gen. Abrams attends live-fire drills by S. Korean army unit

SEOUL-- Gen. Robert Abrams, the commander of the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK), attended a South Korean artillery unit's live-fire drills this week, officials said Friday, in a move to highlight the "ironclad" alliance.

The USFK unveiled a series of photos on social media that showed Abrams visiting the Mun-hae Ri Range in Cheorwon, 90 kilometers north of Seoul, on Wednesday. South Korea's 5th Artillery Brigade, organized the demonstration.

"The #ROKUSAlliance is ironclad, and our commitment to the ROK is unwavering," the USFK wrote in a Facebook post. "We continue to work closely with our ROK partners everyday standing shoulder to shoulder with them."

ROK stands for South Korea's official name, Republic of Korea.

One photo showed Abrams sitting along with top South Korean military officials, including Gen. Choi Byung-hyuk, the deputy commander of the South Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command, and Gen. Nam Young-sin, the head of the Ground Operations Command.

His attendance came amid apparent tensions between the allies over Seoul's decision to end a bilateral military information-sharing pact with Tokyo, which is seen as a symbolic platform to promote Washington's trilateral security cooperation with its two Asian allies.

The allies are also in tough negotiations over the sharing of the cost for the upkeep of the 28,500-strong USFK. Seoul has vowed to shoulder a "fair, equitable" share, while Washington is calling for a hefty rise in Seoul's financial contributions.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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