January 22nd, 2015 14:56 EST
Chuck Hagel Discusses Alliance Progress With South Korean Counterpart
DoD News, Defense Media Activity
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo yesterday to discuss recent progress made in strengthening the alliance between their nations and improving deterrence against North Korean provocations and aggression, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said.
In a statement summarizing the call, Kirby said Hagel noted that the alliance between South Korea and the United States has grown ever stronger, based upon the shared interests and common values of both nations.
Hagel expressed appreciation regarding the recent signing of the Trilateral Information Sharing Arrangement Concerning the Nuclear and Missile Threats Posed by North Korea among the South Korean and Japanese Defense Ministries and the U.S. Defense Department, Kirby said.
Enhancing Deterrence to North Korean Threats
Secretary Hagel thanked Minister Han for his leadership, noting that this arrangement will be crucial to enhancing deterrence of North Korean nuclear and missile threats, " the admiral said. Secretary Hagel further expressed his hope that the three nations are able to build upon current momentum in the years ahead. "
Han conveyed his support for U.S. initiatives to hold North Korea responsible for its recent cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, the press secretary said, and Hagel thanked Han for the strong cooperation and coordination the United States has received from South Korea in responding to this issue.
Hagel reiterated U.S. defense commitments to South Korea and highlighted the importance of the alliance to maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, in Asia and worldwide, Kirby added.
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