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S.Korea, U.S. start high-level defense talks in Seoul about DPRK threats

Xinhua, September 23, 2015 Adjust font size:

Deputy ministerial-level military officials from South Korea and the United States met in Seoul on Wednesday for their annual defense talks about missile and nuclear threats from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Seoul's defense ministry said.

The eighth round of (South) Korea-U.S. integrated Defense Dialogue (KIDD) kicked off in the headquarters of the South Korean Defense Ministry. The defense dialogue, which was launched in 2011, will run through Thursday.

The South Korean side was headed by Yoo Jeh-seung, deputy defense minister for policy, with the U.S. side being represented by Abraham Denmark, deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia, and Elaine Bunn, deputy assistant secretary of defense for nuclear and missile defense policy.

Yoo said in his introductory remarks that this meeting was aimed at solidifying the combined defense posture of South Korea and the United States, noting that enhancing the South Korea-U.S. combined capability of deterrence and defense is more important than anything else amid rising missile and nuclear threats from the DPRK.

The DPRK said last week that it was at the final stage of developing an observation satellite, indicating the launch of a long-range rocket around the 70th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers'Party of Korea on Oct. 10.

Pyongyang also said last week that it had already started normal operations of all the facilities at its main nuclear complex in Yongbyon, a city some 100 km northeast of its capital.

Abraham said that this meeting was held less than a month after DPRK provocations, which reminded him of how important the close cooperation and coordination between Seoul and Washington is.

The senior U.S. official noted that he was also reminded of how situations on the Korean Peninsula get dangerous and of how important maintaining the U.S.-South Korea alliance to immediately respond to such situations is.

During the two-day meeting, the two sides will also discuss the "4D"strategic concept, which was agreed upon at the seventh round of talks, to materialize the concept.

The 4D stands for Detect, Defense, Disrupt and Destroy, a U.S.- South Korea joint defense strategy to detect, track and destroy missile and nuclear threats from the DPRK.

Also on the agenda will be preparations for the 47th round of the Security Consultative Meeting (SCM), the U.S.-South Korea annual defense ministers'talks set to be held in Seoul in November.

The senior military officials will discuss follow-up measures for the agreed transfer of wartime operational control of South Korean forces from Washington during the meeting. Endi