Defense chiefs of S. Korea, U.S. reaffirm ‘robust’ alliance in call over N.K. missile launch

SEOUL-- The defense chiefs of South Korea and the United States held phone talks Thursday and agreed to closely cooperate to enhance the allies' combined defense posture, Seoul's defense ministry said, a day after North Korea's ballistic missile launch.

During the talks, Defense Minister Suh Wook and his U.S. counterpart, Lloyd Austin, condemned the North's launch as a "clear" violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions and an act that threatens peace on the Korean Peninsula and in the Indo-Pacific region, according to the ministry.

"(They) agreed to closely cooperate on deterrence through the strong South Korea-U.S. alliance and enhancement of the combined defense posture," the ministry said in a press release.

Austin reaffirmed the U.S.' "iron-clad" security commitment to the defense of South Korea, the ministry said.

On Wednesday, the North fired the missile, which flew 470 kilometers at a top altitude of 780 km and a speed of Mach 11. It marks the North's 14th show of force this year and came less than a week before the inauguration of President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol.

Source: Yonhap News Agency