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A Strong Alliance Between U.S., Republic Of Korea

US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and South Korea Defense Minister Kim Kwan-Jin

"The alliance between the two countries “will remain a cornerstone of stability in Northeast Asia into the future.”

At an October 24 press conference with Republic of Korea Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that the alliance between the two countries “will remain a cornerstone of stability in Northeast Asia into the future.”

Strong Alliance Between U.S., Republic of Korea
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The United States remains fully committed to the security of the Republic of Korea, said Mr. Panetta:

“Make no mistake; we will provide the forces and the military capabilities needed to help maintain security on the Korean Peninsula. And we are also committed to deepening and adapting our defense cooperation to meet evolving security challenges in the region.”

The press conference took place after the 44th U.S. – Republic of Korea Security Consultative Meeting in Washington, attended by the civilian and military leadership of the two defense establishments. Secretary Panetta said that the focus of much of the discussion was North Korea, which remains, he said, “a serious threat to both of our nations, and a serious threat to regional and global stability:”

"Over the past year North Korea has continued its pattern of defiance and provocative actions, including the unsuccessful test of a ballistic missile capability. Minister Kim and I reaffirmed that North Korean aggression or military provocation will not be tolerated and that we will continue working shoulder to shoulder to demonstrate our combined resolve.”

The United States and the Republic of Korea will continue their close consultation in order to develop “a comprehensive set of alliance capabilities to counter North Korean threats,” said Mr. Panetta. The two countries will continue to enhance close alliance cooperation to address wide-ranging global security challenges, including those in space and in cyberspace.

Mr. Panetta said that the United States is rebalancing towards the Asia-Pacific region because of its importance for global security and prosperity. “A stronger U.S.-Republic of Korea,” he said, “is a critical part of this rebalancing effort.”

For 60 years, the U.S. and the Republic of Korea have stood side by side and forged security and prosperity for our nations. “We have been tested time and time again, but we have met every challenge,” said Mr. Panetta. “And the reality is that over the last 60 years, we have preserved peace in the peninsula and in that region. [And] as a result, today this alliance is stronger than ever.”