U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said after meeting with his South Korean counterpart that the United States is committed to 'improving its allied defense' of South Korea and called the alliance between the two nations the 'linchpin' of peace in the region.
Speaking Friday at a joint news conference in Washington, alongside visiting South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin, Blinken said the United States reaffirmed its commitment to defending South Korea 'using the full range of U.S. capabilities, including nuclear, conventional and missile defense capabilities.'
Park said South Korea and the United States are committed to 'strengthening extended deterrence' in relation to North Korea. The practice refers to the U.S. military's efforts to deter threats against its allies.
'Any provocations by North Korea will be met with a firm and united response,' he said.
Friday's talks between Park and Blinken followed a visit to Seoul this week by U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who pledged to expand military drills between the countries.
Blinken said Lloyd sought to boost deterrence planning with South Korea, 'including through even deeper information sharing on North Korean nuclear threats.'
Blinken said he and Park also discussed the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait as well as increasing trilateral cooperation between the United States, South Korea and Japan.
Blinken and Park also signed a science and technology agreement, updated from a 1992 pact, which extended the deal for 10 more years.
Some information in this report came from Reuters.