North Korea’s recent missile launches show the seriousness of the threat to the US and South Korea, a Pentagon official said on Monday amid a gesture of reconciliation with Pyongyang after a series of weapons tests.
US Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary for East Asia Siddhartha Mohandas made the remarks at the start of the biennial 20th Korea-US Integrated Defense Dialogue (KIDD) in Seoul to discuss regional security situations and pending coalition issues, Yonhap News Agency reported. Of.
Describing the coalition as the linkpin of peace and security in the region against such challenges, Mohandas said, “North Korea’s recent missile launch reminds us of the gravity of the threat we face together.”
The remarks came two days after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s sister, Kim Yo-jong, suggested that North Korea may formally declare an end to the 1950–53 Korean War, as suggested by South Korea. and even discussed an inter-Korean summit.
Kim Yo-jong’s statement comes amid concerns over North Korea’s recent cruise and ballistic missile launches and signs of an inclusive regime reactivating a major nuclear reactor at the Yongbyon complex, its main base.
Earlier on Monday, US reconnaissance aircraft, including the Global Hawk, were seen flying over the Korean peninsula in an apparent move to monitor North Korea’s movements after the missile launch.
Referring to recent talks of a formal end to the Korean War, Deputy Defense Minister Kim Man-Ki said, it is time for more close coordination between the South Korea-US alliance.
According to the Defense Ministry, during the two-day meeting, the two sides are planning to discuss key pending security issues, such as the assessment of the security situation on the Korean peninsula and policy coordination on North Korea.
During this week’s meeting, the situation-based transition of South Korean troops from Washington to Seoul to Wartime Operational Control (OPCON) and ways to strengthen defense cooperation between the two countries will also be discussed, the ministry said.
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