Hagel Hosts Korean Foreign Minister at Pentagon
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, April 3, 2013 The U.S. commitment to its alliance with South Korea was the key topic in a Pentagon meeting today between Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and South Korea’s new minister of foreign affairs, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said.
Hagel also congratulated Yun Byung-se on his appointment, Little said.
"The secretary expressed his gratitude to Minister Yun for hosting Deputy Secretary of Defense Ash Carter during his recent trip to South Korea and told the minister he is encouraged by the high level of consultation between both governments,” the press secretary said in a statement released after the meeting.
Hagel reaffirmed to Yun that the enduring U.S. defense and extended deterrence commitments to South Korea will not change, “and that it is our duty to remain vigilant during this time of heightened tension on the Korean Peninsula,” Little said.
"The two leaders discussed the importance of the recent U.N. Security Council resolutions that are designed to limit North Korea's progress on its nuclear and missile programs,” he added. “While the Department of Defense remains focused on fulfilling security commitments, Secretary Hagel stated that diplomatic efforts are fundamental to encouraging North Korea to pursue the path of peace.”
Hagel also thanked Yun for his friendship and his continued commitment to the South Korea-U.S. relationship and the defense of the Korean Peninsula, Little said.