WASHINGTON, October 15, 2015 — In a meeting with South Korea’s president and defense minister at the Pentagon today, Defense Secretary Ash Carter reaffirmed the strength of the U.S.-South Korean alliance as the linchpin of peace and security on the Korean Peninsula and across the Asia-Pacific region, Defense Department officials said.
In a statement, officials noted that Carter welcomed President Park Geun-hye and Defense Minister Han Min-koo to the Pentagon with a full military honors parade, the first of the secretary's tenure.
In his meetings with Park and Han, Carter strongly reassured both leaders of the ironclad U.S. commitment to South Korea’s defense, the statement said.
“The leaders discussed areas of mutual concern in the Asia-Pacific,” the Defense Department statement said, “including the challenges posed by North Korea, and the importance of continued alliance cooperation and coordination to deter and, if necessary, defend against and defeat North Korean threats.”
Carter and Han agreed to establish an interagency working group to enhance cooperation on defense technology issues, the statement said, and also discussed opportunities to increase alliance cooperation on space and cyberspace.