US and South Korea Agree to Boost Defenses After Pyongyang Missile Tests

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Armored helicopters convoy cargo helicopters during the annual joint military exercise Foal Eagle between South Korea and the United States in Pocheon, northeast of Seoul, March 25, 2015. (Xinhua/Seongbin Kang)
Armored helicopters convoy cargo helicopters during the annual joint military exercise Foal Eagle between South Korea and the United States in Pocheon, northeast of Seoul, March 25, 2015. (Xinhua/Seongbin Kang)

The US and South Korea defense chiefs have agreed to seek ways to expand bilateral cooperation in response to North Korea’s recent missile launches, the two sides said after holding their latest Integrated Defense Dialogue in Seoul on Tuesday.

“The leaders discussed DPRK’s [North Korea’s] recent missiles launches and agreed to explore enhancements to the Alliance’s defense posture to account for omni-directional threats,” the US Defense Department and South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense said in a joint statement after their 20th Integrated Defense Dialogue.

South Korean Deputy Minister for National Defense Policy Kim Man-gi and US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia Siddharth Mohandas led their respective delegations, the statement said.

“The leaders discussed DPRK’s recent missile launches and agreed to explore enhancements to the Alliance’s defense posture to account for omnidirectional threats. Both leaders underscored the importance of diplomacy and the resumption of dialogue to address these changes,” the statement added.

The two delegations reaffirmed the shared goal of achieving the complete denuclearization of, and permanent peace on, the Korean Peninsula and pledged that US and South Korean combined forces would remain ready and postured to defend the South, according to the statement.

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