U.S. and South Korean defense ministers meet to confirm cooperation on North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats

U.S. and South Korean defense ministers meet to confirm cooperation on North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats October 15 at 3:45 p.m.

U.S. Defense Secretary Esper met in Washington with South Korean Defense Minister Seo Woo-wook, who took office last month, and confirmed that he would work closely with North Korea on its nuclear and missile threats.
U.S. Defense Secretary Esper met in Washington on Thursday with South Korean Defense Minister Seo Woo-wook, who visited the United States for the first time since taking office last month.

At the beginning of the meeting, Secretary Esper said that “North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missiles are a serious threat to the security and stability of the world,” and expressed the recognition that close cooperation between the United States and South Korea is essential in responding to North Korea.

He also stressed the importance of cooperation between the three countries, including Japan, by stated that “we will also discuss regional security, including cooperation between the United States, South Korea, and Japan.”

In response, Defense Minister Seo responded that “the alliance between South Korea and the United States is unwavering no matter what security issues may be,” and confirmed that Japan, the United States and South Korea will continue to work together.

Secretary Esper also called for an understanding of the increased burden of stationing expenses, saying that “we must find a fair way” for the expenses of U.S. troops stationed in South Korea.

In a joint statement issued after the meeting, the U.S. and South Korea said they “agreed on the need to resolve the costs of the garrison quickly in an agreement with each other,” and negotiations between the U.S. and South Korea will continue as the Trump administration is ready to demand an increase in the costs of U.S. troops stationed in Japan.