WASHINGTON -- Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby provided the following readout:
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III spoke with Republic of Korea (ROK) Minister of National Defense Suh Wook today to reaffirm the ironclad U.S.-ROK Alliance and emphasize the importance of close cooperation between the two countries.
During the call, Minister Suh congratulated Secretary Austin on his appointment, and Secretary Austin underscored the U.S. commitment to defend the ROK through both the U.S.-ROK combined defense posture and the U.S. extended deterrent.
Secretary Austin and Minister Suh addressed a broad range of defense issues and exchanged views on the security environment on the Korean Peninsula and in the region. Both sides noted the need to maintain the readiness of Alliance combined forces, affirmed the importance of maintaining the rules-based international order, and agreed to enhance cooperation on shared threats.