WASHINGTON, August 21, 2014 —
During his visit to South Korea, Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work met with senior U.S. and Republic of Korea officials to review progress in transforming the U.S.-ROK alliance and reaffirm the United States' steadfast commitment to the defense of the ROK, Deputy Secretary of Defense Spokesperson Navy Lt. Cmdr. Courtney Hillson said in a statement issued today.
Hillson’s statement reads as follows:
“Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work visited the Republic of Korea (ROK) Aug. 20-21. During his visit, he met with senior U.S. and ROK officials to review progress in transforming the U.S.-ROK alliance and reaffirm the United States' steadfast commitment to the defense of the ROK.
“On Aug. 20, he met with U.S. Forces Korea Commander Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti and U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Leslie A. Bassett. Additionally, he met with senior ROK government officials including National Security Advisor Kim Kwan-jin and Defense Minister Han Min-Koo.
“The meetings with ROK officials focused on coordination to bolster the combined defense of the Korean Peninsula and deterrence of North Korean aggression. The discussions focused, in particular, on efforts to modernize the alliance and strengthen combined capabilities, including the development of comprehensive, interoperable Alliance counter-missile capabilities.
“Work emphasized that a strong alliance with the Republic of Korea is a central component of the United States' rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region.
“On Aug. 21, Work visited Camp Humphreys, Command Post Tango, and Osan Air Base to review Alliance force posture initiatives, observe the ongoing exercise Ulchi Freedom Guardian, and thank U.S and South Korean troops for their service.
“The Deputy Secretary looks forward to working with the ROK to continue growing and strengthening the U.S.-ROK alliance.
“Work's current trip to Asia continues through Aug. 23 and includes visits to Guam, Hawaii, Japan and the ROK. The next and final stop of this trip is Japan.”