WASHINGTON, July 19, 2014 —
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke by phone this evening with Han Min-koo, South Korea’s new defense minister, and later with former Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said.
It was the first conversation between Hagel and Han, Kirby said in a statement.
Hagel congratulated Han on his appointment and looks forward to working with him to continue growing and strengthening the U.S.-South Korean alliance, the press secretary said.
In his conversation with Kim, now the director of South Korea’s National Security Office, Hagel thanked him for his partnership while he was defense minister and indicated that he looks forward to working with Han, Kirby said.