Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo and U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper have reaffirmed that they will support their countries’ diplomatic efforts to fully denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and establish permanent peace there.
The two defense chiefs revealed the stance in a joint press statement released after their meeting in Seoul on Friday.
The two officials said they discussed security conditions on the peninsula and the transfer of wartime operational control(OPCON) from Washington to Seoul. They also agreed to boost communication and cooperation toward maintaining stability in the region, based on their solid alliance.
According to the statement, Jeong and Esper noted that significant progress is being made in meeting the conditions for the OPCON transfer. They also agreed to discuss at the upcoming Security Consultative Meeting the results of tests on the initial operational capability of the envisioned combined command that Seoul will lead after the transfer is completed.
The two officials agreed that the OPCON transfer must aim to not only solidify the South Korea-U.S. alliance but also contribute to peace and stability on the peninsula and around the world.