The Korea Herald

ssg
지나쌤

Senior Pentagon official to visit Seoul this week to discuss deterrence against N.K threats

By Yonhap

Published : June 12, 2023 - 11:41

    • Link copied

This photo shows Colin Kahl, undersecretary of defense for policy. (US Department of Defense website) This photo shows Colin Kahl, undersecretary of defense for policy. (US Department of Defense website)

A senior US defense official will visit South Korea later this week to discuss deterrence against growing North Korean threats, Seoul and Washington officials have said, amid joint efforts to curb the recalcitrant regime's provocative acts.

The planned trip by Colin Kahl, undersecretary of defense for policy, comes amid tensions heightened by Pyongyang's hardening rhetoric against the allies and its provocative acts, including the failed launch of a space rocket late last month.

While in Korea as part of his Indo-Pacific swing, Kahl plans to meet with senior Seoul officials and visit the Joint Security Area in the Demilitarized Zone separating the two Koreas, according to Lt. Col. David Herndon, a spokesperson for the Pentagon.

On Wednesday, South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup will meet with the undersecretary to discuss joint efforts to strengthen the United States' "extended deterrence" commitment to using the full range of its military capabilities, including nuclear, to defend its ally, according to Jeon Ha-kyu, spokesperson for Seoul's defense ministry.

Kahl also plans to attend a South Korea-US exercise, Herndon said, apparently referring to a massive combined live-fire exercise set for Thursday to highlight the allies' firepower on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the bilateral alliance.

"Under Secretary Kahl's visit to the ROK will underscore the significant progress made in strengthening extended deterrence under the US-ROK Alliance and emphasize that the US commitment to the defense of the ROK remains ironclad," Herndon said in a press release. ROK stands for South Korea's official name, the Republic of Korea.

Kahl's regional trip also includes a visit to Japan. (Yonhap)