Wed, 17 Aug 2022

SEOUL, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- South Korean Defense Minister Suh Wook and U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Thursday held their annual military talks in Seoul, according to the South Korean defense ministry.

Suh and Austin co-chaired the 53rd round of annual Security Consultative Meeting (SCM), agreeing to continue the bilateral cooperation for a joint promise of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula completely and settling permanent peace on the peninsula, according to the joint statement.

The defense chiefs emphasized the importance of efforts to resume diplomacy and dialogue, re-affirming that the diplomacy and dialogue would be mandatory for the complete denuclearization of and the lasting peace settlement on the peninsula.

They agreed on a close cooperation to complete the relocation of the South Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command (CFC) headquarters to Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, 70 km south of the capital Seoul, by next year.

The defense chiefs agreed to assess the full operational capability (FOC) in 2022 for the conditions-based handover of wartime operational control over South Korean troops from Washington to Seoul.

South Korea's wartime command was handed over to the U.S.-led UN command after the 1950-53 Korean War broke out.

It was transferred to the U.S.-led CFC when the command was launched in 1978. South Korea won back its peacetime operational control in 1994.

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