SEOUL-- South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo on Wednesday emphasized the need for closer cooperation with the United States to handle security risks on the peninsula.

During an introductory meeting with Marc Knapper, the acting U.S. ambassador to Seoul, the minister reaffirmed his commitment to a stronger alliance.

"The current security conditions on the Korean Peninsula are graver than any other time due to the advancement of North Korea's nuclear and missile capabilities," Song told the envoy in the meeting at his office.

He stressed that the countries should closely coordinate in order to halt the North's strategic provocations and dismantle its nuclear program in a complete manner.

In response, Knapper reassured Washington's commitment to the "ironclad" alliance, according to the ministry.

He congratulated Song on his inauguration earlier this month, saying he is looking forward to working together with him in dealing with the North Korea issue.

Source: Yonhap News Agency