Washington's decision to maintain its level of USFK troops in Korea and to permanently station a previously rotational helicopter unit is proof that the alliance between South Korea and the U.S. is seen as important by both sides.
Seoul's defense ministry made the statement on Tuesday during a briefing.
"We, the defense ministry, believe the South Korea-U.S. Alliance is that important for each side."
The comment came following Pentagon's release of its 2021 Global Posture Review on Monday, which included a decision to permanently station a previously rotational Apache attack helicopter unit and artillery division headquarters in South Korea.
The latest review is the first of its kind regarding the stationing of overseas U.S. troops under the Biden administration.
The Pentagon also noted that the review contributes to regional stability and is a deterrence for potential Chinese military aggression as well as threats from North Korea.
The GPR comes at a time when Washington has been striving to reinforce cooperation with its partners against an increasingly assertive Beijing, which hints that the U.S. will seek to ask South Korea during the 53rd Security Consultative Meeting on Thursday for help ((to)) counter security challenges from China.
Seoul's defense minister Suh Wook and his U.S. counterpart, Lloyd Austin, are expected to discuss the OPCON transfer as well as joint efforts to secure peace and complete denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.
Ahead of the SCM, Suh met with a visiting, former USFK commander Vincent Brooks on Monday, who lauded the Seoul-Washington alliance as the most exemplary one in the world and highlighted the importance of the two sides' efforts to develop it further through the strengthening of their combined defense posture.
Kim Dami, Arirang News.