S. Korean, US Defence Chiefs to Meet in Washington

Seoul, – Defense chiefs of South Korea and the United States will discuss measures to better counter the growing threats posed by North Korea in a bilateral meeting in Washington this week, the Korean military said Monday.

South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo leaves for talks with his US counterpart, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, on Tuesday to attend the 48th Security Consultative Meeting (SCM) slated for October 19 (Washington time), it said. He is expected to focus on the extended deterrence guaranteed by the US to its key Asian allies, state news agency (Yonhap) reported.

In the annual meeting, the two allies are also forecast to discuss countermeasures against the North’s nuclear and missile threats. “The countermeasures may include a rotational deployment of US strategic assets to the South,” an official said.

As North Korea has escalated its saber-rattling by conducting five nuclear detonations in the past decade and test-firing a series of ballistic missiles, the policymakers look set to hold talks about stronger sanctions on the communist regime, he said.

In its latest provocations, the North attempted to launch a Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile Saturday (Korean time) near the northwestern city of Kusong, but the launch ended in failure. Kusong is near the North’s “Dongchang-ri” or “Sohae” missile launch site.

Source: Qatar News Agency