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“Allied Defense Posture to be Strengthened and U.S. Forces in Korea to be Maintained at the Current Levels”

The Republic of Korea and U.S. defense ministers' talks held on June 28 were meaningful in the sense that the two ministers agreed to maintain defense back-ups and strengthen the allied defense posture in order to secure peace on the Korean Peninsula.

“The talks reaffirmed the shared perceptions and judgments between the Minister of National Defense Song Young-moo and his U.S. counterpart James Mattis, with regard to the change in circumstances after the talks in Singapore on June 2. Through this reaffirmation, they concluded that they had common perceptions,” a ministry official said after the talks.

“Instead of highlighting the idea of 'suspension,' they agreed that maintaining the allied defense posture would not cause any problem. Each military unit will continue to make an effort to maintain a posture of combat readiness,” the official responded, addressing concerns that the defense posture of Republic of Korea and the U.S. had been weakened after the recent suspension of the Ulchi Freedom Guardian (FG) exercises and the Korea Marine Exercise Program (KMEP). “Our military's combat readiness posture will be supplemented by any means,” the official added.

The two ministers also stressed that U.S. Forces Korea will be maintained at its current level. “In the midst of this, the U.S. Forces Korea, as a symbol of the Republic of Korea-U.S. alliance, will always be with the Republic of Korea military," Song said during his opening remarks. "The U.S. commitment to the Republic of Korea remains ironclad, and the U.S. will continue to use a full range of diplomatic and military capabilities to uphold this commitment. This includes maintaining the current U.S. forces levels on the Korean Peninsula," Mattis said.

By Su-Yeol, Maeng < >

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