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Korea and U.S. Defense Ministries 'confirmed progress of preparation for OPCON transition'

Announced 18th KIDD meeting results

Agreed to secure core military capability of the ROK
Confirmed joint evaluation through the SPMC would continue
Recognized the importance of firm combined defense posture

Korea and U.S. Defense Ministries "confirmed progr

The Defense Ministries of Korea and the U.S. agreed that this year's combined command post drill gave shape to conditions necessary to verify complete operational capability. Significantly, both bodies reached a consensus on the need to secure the core military capabilities of the Korean army and continue joint evaluation through the Special Permanent Military Committee.

At the announcement of the 18th KIDD (Korea-U.S. Integrated Defense Dialogue) meeting results on September 11, Korea's Ministry of National Defense said that progress has been made in preparation for wartime operation control transition. Accordingly, they plan to discuss progress reports and further plans on satisfaction of conditions of OPCON transition based on the terms of the Korea-US Security Consultative Meeting this year.

At this meeting, which was held for two days on September 9 and 11, Jung Seok-hwan, director of defense policy at the Ministry of National Defense; David Helvy, the acting assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs, and Heino Klinck, deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia attended along with other major relevant officers of defense and foreign affairs.

The attendees agreed to continue bilateral security cooperation such as high-level policy consultations, information sharing and personnel exchanges, and enhance peace and stability in the Korea Peninsula and the northeast Asia region.

Above all, they acknowledged a shared understanding that it's important to strengthen the firm combined defense posture between the ROK and U.S. to respond to the current security circumstances around the Korea Peninsula and pending security issues in the region.

The importance of stable access to essential drill facilities and other core operating facilities necessary for the firm combined defense posture was also emphasized. As well, the need for joint research for combined joint multipurpose real firing range and further plans in this area was considered.

The attendees reconfirmed their common goal, which is permanent peace on the Korea Peninsula and the North's complete denuclearization, and agreed to continue to cooperate closely with each other for the implementation of relevant agreements, including a ceasefire agreement, 9.19 military agreement, etc. They also checked the current state of moving the ROK-US Combined Forces Command building and agreed to speed up its movement.

In addition, a range of plans for the alliance to more effectively restrain the North's nuclear and missile threats were discussed, as well as the results of the recently-completed 'Korea-US joint research of extended deterrence'. The participants agree to work together to enhance the effectiveness of this customized deterrence strategy.

In a joint statement, the ministries said, "This KIDD meeting is evaluated as a place for reconfirming the firm solidarity between the Korea and the U.S. and strengthening the mutual-assistance system between two countries. We're going to continue making progress until the next SCM in October this year."

By Chae-Mu, Im < >

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