By Kim Minji and Lee Jihae
Minister of National Defense Jeong Kyeong-doo and U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper on June 25 said in a joint statement that the “U.S.-ROK (Republic of Korea) alliance remains the linchpin for security, stability and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula and in the Northeast Asia region.”
Marking the 70th anniversary of the Korean War’s outbreak, the statement added, “On this day in 1950, the U.S.-ROK military alliance was born of necessity and forged in blood, as brave U.S. and ROK service members from a world apart banded together based on shared values and common purpose.”
Korea and the U.S. “remain firmly committed to defending the hard-fought peace on the Korean Peninsula, to include supporting ongoing diplomatic efforts for the complete denuclearization of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) consistent with multiple United Nations Security Council Resolutions,” they added.
Both officials also urged North Korea to “meet its commitments in alignment with the Singapore Summit Joint Statement, the Comprehensive Military Agreement, and other relevant agreements.”Secretary Esper affirmed the U.S. government’s “ironclad commitment to the defense” of Korea. The Ministry of National Defense also announced that both countries will strengthen and adapt to the alliance.
The secretary lauded Korea’s response to COVID-19, calling it a “model” of efficiency and transparency.
The defense ministries of both countries also agreed to continue cooperation to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.