News Zone

Recent News

[ROK-US Defense Ministerial Talks] ROK, US agree to strengthen the alliance deterrence posture and hold high-level extended dete...

During the talks, the two sides agree to respond decisively to North Korea’s provocations

Agree to incorporate and expand joint military exercises into government exercise

“Any provocation from North Korea will only result in a stronger ROK-US alliance”

During the talks, the two sides agree to respond d

Defense ministers of the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the United States (US) agreed to beef up the alliance deterrence posture, including the deployment of the ballistic missile defense system and US strategic assets in the Korean Peninsula region. They also agreed to hold a high-level extended deterrence strategic consultative group (EDSCG) in the near future.


The ministry said in a statement that Minister Lee Jong-sup and his US counterpart Lloyd J. Austin III had shared their assessment of North Korea’s evolving threats and discussed the main alliance issues at the ROK-US defense ministerial talks held on July 29 (local time).


According to the ministry, the defense ministers of the two countries agreed to work together to respond decisively to North Korea’s provocative acts, and agreed to incorporate and expand joint military exercises, slated for the second half of the year, into the ROK government exercise.


“The two sides agreed to closely cooperate for the successful implementation of the ‘Ulchi Freedom Shield (UFS) exercise.’ In connection with the joint military exercise period, the two sides agreed to proactively carry out large-scale joint field training exercises starting next year, and also discussed the plan to resume regimental level and above field training exercises, such as joint carrier strike group exercises and joint landing exercises, which have been suspended since 2019,” a ministry official explained.


The two ministers also agreed to hold the EDSCG to enhance the alliance deterrence and strengthen the strategic communication between the two countries as a follow-up measure to the latest ROK-US summit, and affirmed that they will take this as a prompt to contribute to regional security.


The ministers also reaffirmed the combined defense commitment, in keeping with the mutual defense treaty between the two countries, and agreed to work to coordinate all current issues in order to reinforce the combined defense posture. They also shared the view that the security situation on the Korean Peninsula is very grave due to North Korea’s continued provocations, and stressed that “any provocation from North Korea will only result in a stronger ROK-US alliance.”


The defense ministers also clarified that if North Korea carries out the seventh nuclear test despite the international community's opposition, the two countries will respond strongly and sternly by immediately implementing a joint armed protest through the deployment of US strategic assets on the Korean Peninsula, based on a firm combined defense posture. It is reported that the two sides have held additional consultations on a plan for the coordinated and timely deployment of US strategic assets after the latest deployment of US Air Force F-35A jets.


Significantly, Austin reemphasized the extended deterrence commitment of the US to the ROK defense, using the full range of US defense capabilities, including nuclear, conventional and missile defense capabilities.


Lee stressed that our military is pushing forward with the establishment of a strategic command, as well as strengthening the ‘Korean three-axis system,’ to prepare against North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats.


The two sides also shared the view that ROK-US-Japan cooperation is needed to respond to North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats, and discussed the plan for how to proceed in this area.


It is reported that the ROK has made its position on the gradual expansion of trilateral exercises clear, including the resumption of the trilateral search and rescue exercise that has been temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 situation, while reinforcing existing trilateral exercises including a missile warning exercise.


The ministers also affirmed their commitment to developing the ROK-US alliance, which serves as a linchpin of peace and prosperity in the region, into a comprehensive global strategic alliance that contributes to building peace, security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and in the world, on the basis of universal values such as freedom and human rights.

By Chul-Hwan, Kim < >

<Copyright ⓒ The Korea Defense Daily, All rights reserved>


  • (Presentation and Follow-on discussion)