Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, United States Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Gen. Jung, Seung Jo, Republic of Korea Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, convened the 37th Republic of Korea-United States Military Committee Meeting (MCM) on April 18. Both chairmen reaffirmed that the Republic of Korea-United States alliance is stronger than ever.
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. 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.
Gen. Dempsey reiterated the firm and unwavering commitment of the United States to defend the Republic of Korea, using all available military capabilities, including forces postured on the Korean Peninsula, its nuclear umbrella, conventional strike and missile defense capabilities.
Gen. Jung echoed the Republic of Korea's commitment to strengthen the level of its capabilities and 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 the defense of the Republic of Korea.
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. 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.
Both chairmen assessed that the discussions at the 37th MCM have made a significant contribution to enhancing the Republic of Korea-United States alliance and strengthening the military relations between the two countries. Both chairmen expect to hold the next military committee meeting at a mutually convenient time in 2013.