News   Partnerships

Historic Meeting Underscores U.S.-South Korean Alliance

Oct. 31, 2018 | BY Jim Garamone
You have accessed part of a historical collection on defense.gov. Some of the information contained within may be outdated and links may not function. Please contact the DOD Webmaster with any questions.

Defense Secretary James N. Mattis and South Korean Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo co-hosted a historic 50th annual Security Consultative Meeting at the Pentagon Oct. 31.

The talks focused on increasing interoperability between the U.S. and South Korea. In a joint statement, the leaders said the annual meeting has played a critical role over the past half century in deterring war on the Korean Peninsula and developing the South Korean-U.S. alliance.

Defense Secretary James N. Mattis shakes hands with his South Korean counterpart.
Pentagon Handshake
Defense Secretary James N. Mattis meets with South Korean Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo during the 50th annual Security Consultative Meeting at the Pentagon, Oct. 31, 2018.
Photo By: Air Force Master Sgt. Angelita Lawrence, DOD
VIRIN: 181031-D-HA938-0318Y

Here are some facts about the U.S.-Korea alliance:

1
There are 28,500 U.S. service members based in South Korea ready to “fight tonight” if North Korea invades.
2
The South Korean military has 625,000 active-duty service members and 5.2 million reservists.
3
The South Korean military is one of the most modern in the world and boasts impressive firepower. South Korea has more than 1,500 aircraft. The country also has about 750 helicopters.
4
South Korean soldiers fought alongside American forces during the Vietnam War, losing 5,099 service members.
5
Combined Forces Command, at Camp Humphreys, South Korea, seamlessly integrates American and South Korean personnel. The CFC commander, Army Gen. Vincent Brooks, has wartime control of more than 600,000 troops from both countries.