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Hagel Hosts South Korean Foreign Minister for Pentagon Meeting

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 7, 2014 – In a meeting with South Korea’s top diplomat at the Pentagon yesterday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel reaffirmed what Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby called “the crucial role of the U.S.-South Korean alliance, which serves as a linchpin for peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.”

In a statement summarizing Hagel’s meeting with Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se, Kirby said Hagel and Yun reaffirmed that both sides must continue to make progress to develop and acquire critical military capabilities necessary to maintain and strengthen the combined U.S.-South Korean defense posture.

“The two discussed the importance of maintaining a robust combined defense of the Korean Peninsula as a strong deterrent against provocations from North Korea,” he added. Hagel emphasized the importance of the U.S.-South Korean alliance and confirmed the solid U.S. commitment to the defense of the South Korea, Kirby said.

Today, Defense Department officials announced the rotational deployment of the 1st Cavalry Division’s 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, from Fort Hood, Texas, to Camps Hovey and Stanley in South Korea.

This combined arms battalion, with about 800 soldiers and its own wheeled and tracked vehicles, will deploy Feb. 1 to conduct operations in support of U.S. Forces Korea and the U.S. 8th Army, officials said. “This action supports the United States' defense commitment to the Republic of Korea as specified by the mutual defense treaty and presidential agreements,” they added in a statement announcing the deployment.

The battalion will provide a trained and combat-ready force that will deploy with its equipment to South Korea, and the equipment will remain there for use by follow-on rotations, they added. The soldiers will return to Fort Hood upon completion of their nine-month rotation.

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