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Immediate Release

Readout of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III’s Meeting With Defense Minister Suh Wook of the Republic of Korea

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby provided the following readout:

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III held his first bilateral engagement with Republic of Korea Minister of National Defense Suh Wook, today in Seoul, South Korea. 

During the meeting, Secretary Austin noted that the U.S.-ROK Alliance is the linchpin of peace and security on the Korean peninsula and in the Indo-Pacific. Both leaders committed to prioritize readiness and maintain a robust defense posture to ensure that the Alliance is ready to “fight tonight.”

The two leaders also addressed a broad range of defense issues, to include progress on transitioning wartime operational control, enhancing regional cooperation to protect the rules-based international order, and how to rejuvenate trilateral security cooperation.

Secretary Austin noted that the U.S. security commitment to the ROK remains ironclad, including the U.S. extended deterrent underpinned by the full-range of U.S. capabilities. Both leaders noted a commitment to supporting diplomatic efforts to achieve the denuclearization of North Korea consistent with United Nations Security Council Resolutions.

Secretary Austin and Minister Suh committed to continuing to work closely to strengthen the U.S.-ROK defense relationship, particularly through the Security Consultative Meeting this fall.