U.S fully committed to the defense of the Republic of Korea, says Austin

F.P Report

WASHINGTON: Foreign Minister Chung remarked on Thursday saying that U.S-ROK confirmed once again today in this meeting that both countries are the linchpins of the peace, security, and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula, and the South in Northeast Asia with the ROK-U.S. Alliance having the 70 years of history.

Foreign Minister Chung also remarked that on the solid alliance, we made sure of the commitment to strengthen our strategic communications this kind of effort will be lead to the summit meeting between our two countries in the coming future, he said.

He further mentioned that we decided that reciprocal and the future-oriented cooperation will be further expanded having the cooperation of the discussions on the coming issues.  The signing ceremony that happened right before regarding SMA  has been reaffirming the solidity of the ROK-U.S. Alliance, having resolved a long-term issue.

Lastly, in the process of review process of the North Korea by the U.S., as well as the implementation period, fully coordinated strategy will be the base for our coordination.  Both countries will continue to have the cooperation for the sake of the progress of the Korean peace process, Foreign Minister added.

 For the regional peace, security, and prosperity, both countries have decided to continue our cooperation, reciprocal, and the futuristic manner among the three lateral countries, with Japan, he said. On the New Southern Policy and its cooperation, we have decided to have the common prosperity and stability, especially in the Indo-Pacific area. 

Foreign Minister also remarked that we reaffirmed that when both countries are together, we can have the strongest power, and also our greatest asset, which is the U.S. alliance, can be sound and is reciprocal in the future and meet the time of the demands.

Other than this Secretary of State Blinken stated that the U.S.-Republic of Korea Alliance is, as we have long said, the linchpin of peace, security, and prosperity in Northeast Asia, the Indo-Pacific, and around the world.  But we came here not only to reaffirm that fact and to reaffirm our alliance, but to build on it.

This effort and our trip to the region is part of the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to reinvigorate and modernize our alliances and partnerships around the world, which are critical and crucial to the security and prosperity of the American people, Blinken said.

Our renewed engagement will put us on firmer footing to address a series of shared security challenges in the region and beyond, including the threat posed by North Korea, he added.

Blinken further commented that  President Biden plans to complete a North Korea policy review in the weeks ahead in close coordination and consultation with the Republic of Korea, with Japan, with other key partners, including reviewing pressure options and potential for future diplomacy.

We are committed to the denuclearization of North Korea, reducing the broader threat the DPRK poses to the United States and our allies, and improving the lives of all Koreans, Blinken added.

Regarding China, he said “We are clear-eyed about Beijing’s consistent failure to uphold its commitments and we spoke about how Beijing’s aggressive and authoritarian behavior are challenging the stability, security, and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region”. 

Beijing’s actions make forging a common approach among our allies all the more important at a time when we’re seeing a rollback of democracy and human rights around the world, including in Burma, where the military is attempting to overturn the results of the democratic election by brutally repressing peaceful protesters, Blinken commented.

Defense Minister of Korea commented that  it was a great opportunity for us to reaffirm the rock-solid ROK-U.S. Alliance that has been growing in the last seven decades based on trust and commitment.  We have appreciated the strong combined defense posture of the alliance based on the Mutual Defense Treaty, and reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to the defense of Korea and extended deterrence, he added.

The defense minister stated that the alliance has made coordinated efforts to reach the conditions for a successful OPCON transition and agreed to continue to cooperate for OPCON transition.  The ministers also agreed to closely communicate and cooperate to achieve common goals of complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and establishing permanent peace, he said.

On the other hand, Defense Secretary Austin commented that it is founded on our shared interests and values and is among the strongest bilateral, interoperable, and dynamic alliances in the world, adding that it is critical not only to the security of the Republic of Korea and the United States, but also to the peace and stability of Northeast Asia and a free and open Indo-Pacific region,.

The United States remains fully committed to the defense of the Republic of Korea, using the full range of U.S. capabilities, including our extended deterrent, he said.

As the United States and the Republic of Korea continue to maintain a robust combined defense posture, we also remain committed to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.  There is no daylight between us on this point, he further mentioned.

Secretary of Defense further remarked that we discussed the way forward on a host of critical strategic and operational issues, adding that  at the top of my agenda was ensuring a shared understanding of the importance of maintaining military readiness.

 Our force remains ready to fight tonight and we continue to make progress toward the eventual transition of wartime operational control to an ROK-commanded future combined forces command, Austin remarked.

 Expressing pleasure he added that the initialing of the Special Measures Agreement, which reflects our commitment to this alliance and illustrate the Biden administration’s promise to revitalize our network of alliances and partnerships. 

Our work in today’s foreign and defense ministerial meetings reflects our firm belief that leading with diplomacy backed by a strong combined defense posture and working closely with our allies and partners will allow us to meet every challenge and outmatch every competitor, he said.

On the review of policy of North Korea he mentioned that we have a shared concern, a shared interest in having a strong, effective, and coordinated policy and proceeding together in lockstep, Foreign Minister Chung added.

We’re focused on reducing the threat to the United States, to our allies, posed by North Korea’s nuclear program, its missile programs, and to improving the lives of people in North Korea, throughout the region as well, he added.

Blinken further added that with regard to North Korea, the most important outreach and engagement we’re doing is with our partners and allies, adding that we’re in close consultation with the Republic of Korea, with Japan, with other allies and partners who are concerned by the actions and activities of North Korea. 

Secretary of State responded to question saying that with regard to Beijing, Beijing has an interest, a clear self-interest, in helping to pursue the denuclearization of the DPRK, because it is a source of instability, it’s a source of danger, and obviously a threat to us and our partners.  But China has a real interest in helping to deal with this.

It also has an obligation under the UN Security Council resolutions to implement fully the sanctions that the international community has agreed are there in response to North Korea’s program and to its provocations, he added.