U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Korea and Japan at the East Asian and Pacific Affairs Bureau Marc Knapper says the South Korea-U.S. alliance is the “linchpin” behind peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region and highlighted the need for trilateral cooperation with Japan.
His remarks were made Wednesday in a webinar co-hosted by the Korea-U.S. Alliance Foundation and the Korea Defense Veterans Association.
In addressing North Korea’s nuclear missile threat, Knapper said “the U.S. will continue to pursue bilateral and trilateral security and other cooperations with South Korea and Japan in recognition of shared interests.”
Knapper also said the U.S. was “encouraged” by recent efforts made by Seoul and Tokyo to address their differences referring to senior South Korean officials visiting Japan earlier this month after the launch of the Yoshihide Suga administration.
The U.S. diplomat also said the South Korea-U.S. alliance has grown stronger reaching areas relating to cyber security, the execution of the rule of law and the resolving of issues regarding the South China Sea.
He also emphasized cooperation in the economic sector saying the “same cannot be said about China whose investment in South Korea is minimal. at less than three-percent far lower than that of the U.S. at 15-percent.
During the two-day conference U.S. Forces Korea Commander General Robert Abrams also stressed that powerful military strength is a prerequisite to genuine peace and said with the two countries’ alliance and its strong military might could prevent any threat from North Korea.
Seoul’s defense minister Suh Wook vowed to continue to pursue the conditions-based envisioned transfer of wartime operational control from Washington to Seoul.
Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News.

Reporter : jiyeonkim@arirang.co.kr

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