Korea, U.S. talk defense in wake of nuclear test

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Korea, U.S. talk defense in wake of nuclear test


Seoul and Washington reached a consensus to boost military cooperation in reaction to North Korea’s recent provocations at the first high-level defense talks since Pyongyang’s third-ever nuclear test this month.

South Korean Deputy Minister of Defense Lim Kwan-bin met with top Pentagon officials at a two-day Korea-U.S. Integrated Defense Dialogue held in Washington Thursday and Friday, and discussed joint countermeasures between the allies in the wake of Pyongyang’s defiant nuclear weapons test.

The U.S. attendees included Under Secretary of Defense for Policy James Miller, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs Mark Lippert and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia David Helvey, according to South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense.

“We discussed immediate and coordinated responses between the allies against North Korea’s military provocations and attempts to develop nuclear weapons and missiles, which will never be tolerated,” Lim told a press meeting in Washington after the dialogue.

The focus of the talks was developing a “bilateral tailored deterrence strategy,” Lim said, a package of joint reactions against possible scenarios prompted by North Korea’s nuclear weapons test.

“We will constantly develop the bilateral tailored deterrence strategy, such as arranging various retaliation plans applicable to each situation, through the committee for nuclear weapons deterrence policy,” Lim said.

Lim didn’t give details of the strategy. The strategy will be reported to the upcoming 45th U.S. ? ROK(South Korea) Security Consultative Meeting, scheduled for October.

The allies also determined to push forward with the transfer of wartime operational control to the South Korean military as scheduled for December 2015 despite worries over the provocations from the North.

A new plan, code-named Oplan 5015, would replace the current Oplan 5027 and permit the U.S. to intervene militarily in the event of fighting between the two Koreas.

The Washington meeting concluded that the transfer was being carried out smoothly and determined not to delay it, according to South Korea’s Defense Ministry.


By Kim Hee-jin [heejin@joongang.co.kr]

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