The Pentagon announced yesterday defense and foreign ministers of the United States and South Korea plan to meet July 21 in the South Korean capital of Seoul to discuss military collaboration between the two nations.
The meetings are scheduled to cover a wide range of security and alliance issues and will be attended by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates in conjunction with South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan and Defense Minister Kim Tae-young.
According to Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell, President Barack Obama directed the Defense Department to further strengthen cooperation with South Korea after the unprovoked attack and sinking of the South Korean frigate Cheonan in March.
“Ever since,” Morrell said in a press conference at the Pentagon, “we have been engaged in high-level, close consultations in an effort to devise additional ways to bolster alliance capabilities and improve regional stability.”
It is DoD’s hope the meetings will send a message of deterrence to North Korea in demonstration of U.S. alliance with South Korea.
Officials in both countries will work to perfect the South Korean military’s force management, defense reform and ground operations command efforts, Morrell said.