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Immediate Release

United States-Republic of Korea Joint Statement on the Call Between Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Minister of National Defense Suh Wook

On March 24, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Minister of National Defense Suh Wook held a secure call to discuss assessments and response measures for Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)’s recent Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) launches.  Secretary Austin affirmed that the U.S. commitment to the defense of the ROK remains ironclad.

The two leaders strongly condemned today’s missile launch and shared a common understanding that DPRK’s missile launches pose a serious threat to the peace and stability of not only the Korean Peninsula and the Indo-Pacific region, but also to the entire world.  They also concurred that recent DPRK launches are a clear violation of UN Security Council Resolutions, and demonstrate that DPRK has ended its self-imposed moratorium on ICBM launches, which was made as a promise to the international community.  They also agreed that firm responses, including further actions from the UN Security Council, are necessary.

Furthermore, the two leaders pledged to continue close consultations between military authorities of the ROK and the U.S. going forward and agreed on the importance of maintaining a robust U.S.-ROK combined defense posture.  The Secretary and the Minister also agreed to further discuss trilateral security cooperation and continue efforts to achieve the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.