South Korea, US start high-level defence talks

Seoul, Sep 23 (IANS) South Korean and the US officials on Wednesday met for their annual defence talks about missile and nuclear threats from North Korea, Seoul’s defence ministry said.

The eighth round of South Korea-US integrated defence dialogue (KIDD) kicked off in Seoul. The defence dialogue, launched in 2011, will run through Thursday, Xinhua news agency reported.

The South Korean side was headed by Yoo Jeh-seung, deputy defence minister for policy, and the US side is being represented by Abraham Denmark, deputy assistant secretary of defence for East Asia.

This meeting was aimed at solidifying the combined defence posture of South Korea and the US, Yoo said.

Enhancing the South Korea-US combined capability of deterrence and defence is more important than anything else amid rising missile and nuclear threats from Pyongyang.

Pyongyang last week said it was at the final stage of developing an observation satellite, indicating the launch of a long-range rocket around the 70th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea on October 10.

Abraham said the meeting was held less than a month after North Korea’s provocation, which reminded how important the close cooperation and coordination between Seoul and Washington is.

He said situations on the Korean peninsula get dangerous and US-South Korea alliance is important to immediately respond to such situations.

During the two-day meeting, the two sides will also discuss the “4D” strategic concept, which was agreed upon at the seventh round of talks.

The 4D stands for Detect, Defence, Disrupt and Destroy, a US-South Korea joint defence strategy to detect, track and destroy missile and nuclear threats from the North.

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