South Korea, U.S. defense ministries talk security

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South Korea, U.S. defense ministries talk security

South Korea and the United States yesterday opened their two-day talks on ways to deter and jointly respond to North Korean provocations, the Ministry of National Defense said.

The 29th Security Policy Initiative (SPI) forum in Seoul focused on pending regional security issues, the ministry said in a statement.

“At this meeting, South Korea and the U.S. discussed ways to deter North Korean provocations and to cooperate with each other as allies in response to such provocations,” the statement said. “Also on the agenda were the relocation of U.S. forces in South Korea among other regional security issues and bolstering global security cooperation.”

South Korean Deputy Defense Minister Lim Kwan-bin and his U.S. counterpart Michael Schiffer, deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia, headed their respective delegations.

South Korea and the United States have held SPI talks regularly since 2005, alternating venues between Seoul and Washington, to discuss a wide range of military and defense issues. About 28,500 American troops are stationed in South Korea to help defend the country against North Korea.

The ministry said that, on the sidelines of the SPI meeting, the second meeting of the Extended Deterrence Policy Committee was also held.

During the committee meeting, the two sides reviewed the threats of North Korean weapons of mass destruction and discussed how to deter such threats. The committee was launched in December last year, two months after the two allies, during their annual defense ministers’ talks, agreed to form a body to make decisions about their nuclear policy and to step up their deterrence against North Korean threats.

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