Dempsey, South Korean Counterpart Reaffirm Alliance
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Apr. 18, 2013 The alliance between the United States and South Korea is stronger than ever, the top military officers from both countries said today.
Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. Jung Seung-jo, his South Korean counterpart, convened the 37th Republic of Korea-United States Military Committee meeting via teleconference.
“On the basis of the mutual defense treaty, the two chairmen reaffirmed not only the commitment to enhancing mutual security, but also the commitment to the enduring mission of the alliance, which is to defend the Republic of Korea through a robust combined defense posture,” Pentagon officials said in a written statement summarizing the meeting. “They also reaffirmed that both countries will respond firmly to any provocation by North Korea, in accordance with the Republic of Korea-United States Bilateral Counter-Provocation Plan.”
Dempsey reiterated the firm and unwavering commitment of the United States to defend South Korea using all available military capabilities, including forces postured on the Korean Peninsula, its nuclear umbrella, and conventional strike and missile defense capabilities, the statement said.
Jung expressed South Korea's commitment to strengthen the level of its capabilities, the statement continued, and to enhance the level of military cooperation in the region in response to North Korea's ongoing pattern of defiance and provocative actions, which pose a serious threat to the Korean Peninsula, Northeast Asia, and international peace and security.
Both chairmen also reaffirmed their commitment to further enhance the alliance's deterrence capabilities and highlighted the bilateral decision to prepare sufficient capabilities for South Korea’s defense.
In addition, the Republic of Korea-United States Military Committee reaffirmed that preparations for wartime operational control transition are on track with the Strategic Alliance 2015 implementation plan, the statement said.
“To ensure a resolute and enduring combined defense posture, the military committee shared perspectives on the future command structure and agreed to refine the specifics and make a recommendation and seek approval at the security consultative meeting this October,” officials added.
Both chairmen agreed today’s discussions made a significant contribution to enhancing the alliance and strengthening the military relations between the two countries, and they agreed to hold the next committee meeting at a mutually convenient time this year.