The defense chiefs of South Korea and the United States held phone talks to discuss responses to North Korea's latest ballistic missile launches.
Defense minister Lee Jong-sup and his U.S. counterpart, Lloyd Austin, held the talks on Wednesday after North Korea fired three ballistic missiles into the East Sea earlier in the day, including an apparent intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
Seoul's defense ministry said the two sides agreed to bolster the combined defense posture between South Korea and the U.S. and further enhance the U.S.' extended deterrence.
Minister Lee also emphasized the need for the deployment of U.S. strategic military assets and the early resumption of the Extended Deterrence Strategy and Consultation Group to prepare for additional North Korean provocations.
The ministry said the defense chiefs strongly condemned the North's ballistic missile launches as a clear violation of the UN Security Council resolutions and an act of grave provocation that threatens peace on the Korean Peninsula and in the international community.
The U.S. Department of Defense also issued a press release that Secretary Austin reaffirmed the ironclad U.S. commitment to the defense of South Korea and the capability of the U.S.-South Korea alliance to respond to any North Korean aggression.