The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley on Wednesday stressed Washington's commitment to Seoul as well as its continued commitment to providing extended deterrence.
The top U.S. military officer made the remarks during the 46th Military Committee Meeting with his South Korean counterpart Won In-choul.
Extended deterrence refers to U.S.' stated commitment to mobilizing a full range of military capabilities, conventional and nuclear, to defend South Korea against potential aggression from North Korea.
The two sides said in a joint press release on Wednesday that the military leaders were briefed on the security situation on the Korean Peninsula and in the region, which could have included talks on the North's recent military activities and Washington's moves to keep Beijing in check.
The two also acknowledged progress in the allies' discussions on the envisioned transfer of wartime operational control.
Wednesday's annual defense talks in Seoul were the first in-person session since 2019 due to the pandemic.
Won and Milley underlined the importance of carrying out the meeting face-to-face to demonstrate the strength, credibility and flexibility of the alliance.
The 53rd Security Consultative Meeting will also take place on Thursday, where 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.
Kim Dami, Arirang News.