Defense Secretary Meets with Korean Leaders in Seoul


Defense Secretary Jim Mattis met with South Korean acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn and National Security Advisor Kim Kwan-jin today in Seoul to reaffirm the strength of the U.S.-South Korean alliance, Defense Department spokesperson Navy Cmdr. Gary Ross said in a readout of the meetings.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis meets with South Korean National Security Advisor Kim Kwan-jin during a visit to Seoul, Feb. 2, 2017. DoD photo by Army Sgt. Amber I. Smith
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis meets with South Korean National Security Advisor Kim Kwan-jin during a visit to Seoul, Feb. 2, 2017. DoD photo by Army Sgt. Amber I. Smith
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis meets with South Korean National Security Advisor Kim Kwan-jin during a visit to Seoul, Feb. 2, 2017. DoD photo by Army Sgt. Amber I. Smith
Mattis Meets
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis meets with South Korean National Security Advisor Kim Kwan-jin during a visit to Seoul, Feb. 2, 2017. DoD photo by Army Sgt. Amber I. Smith
Photo By: Sgt. Amber I. Smith
VIRIN: 170202-D-SV709-0332

During the meetings, ‎the secretary emphasized the priority that President Donald J. Trump places on the Asia-Pacific region, and on strengthening the U.S.-South Korean alliance, Ross said. Mattis also underscored that the United States remains steadfast in its commitment to defend South Korea and that the U.S. extended deterrence commitment remains ironclad, he said.

‎The South Korean officials impressed upon the defense secretary the importance of close cooperation in the face of a growing North Korea nuclear and ballistic missile threat, Ross said. The secretary responded that the alliance would continue to take defensive measures in response to this developing threat, such as the stationing of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-ballistic missile system on the Korean Peninsula, the commander said.

Mattis relayed that he had inherited an already strong alliance, and committed to spending his tenure making it stronger than ever, Ross said.