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S. Korea, US Defense Chiefs Condemn N. Korea's Missile Launches, Nuke Test Preparations

Written: 2022-05-19 08:57:05Updated: 2022-05-19 10:56:17

S. Korea, US Defense Chiefs Condemn N. Korea's Missile Launches, Nuke Test Preparations

Photo : KBS News

The defense chiefs of South Korea and the United States held talks on the phone to discuss North Korea's recent missile launches and its preparations for a possible nuclear test.

According to Seoul's defense ministry, defense minister Lee Jong-sup talked to his U.S. counterpart, Lloyd Austin, in a phone call on Wednesday, the first between the two since Lee took office.

The defense chiefs shared the view that the situation both regionally and beyond is grave, including on the Korean Peninsula, making close cooperation between the two nations more important than ever.

The ministry said Lee and Austin strongly condemned the North's recent series of ballistic missile launches and preparations for a possible nuclear test as acts of provocation that raise tensions on the peninsula and in Northeast Asia and threaten global peace and security.

The defense chiefs discussed pending issues for the South Korea-U.S. alliance and ways to maintain a solid combined defense posture. In particular, Lee stressed the importance of the deployment of the U.S.' strategic assets to the peninsula.

The U.S. Department of Defense said in a readout that Secretary Austin reaffirmed the U.S.’ ironclad commitment to defend South Korea. It added the two sides committed to maintaining “fight tonight” readiness and close cooperation in the face of continued provocative actions by North Korea.

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