South Korea's top national security officials on Thursday prepared for defense ministerial talks with the United States to be held this week.
The new Pentagon chief, Mark Esper, is scheduled to arrive in Seoul later in the day. He will hold talks with Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo on Friday in which a host of alliance issues, as well as how to deal with North Korea, are expected to be discussed.
Cheong Wa Dae (Yonhap)
In the weekly session of the National Security Council standing committee, participants "thoroughly checked" the recent military situation involving North Korea and the Korean Peninsula, Cheong Wa Dae said.
They also reviewed issues related to the upcoming talks between Jeong and Esper and agreed to further strengthen partnerships between the defense authorities of the two sides for the complete denuclearization of Korea and the establishment of lasting peace, it added.
They also reaffirmed plans for continued efforts to resolve the trade fight with Japan through dialogue.
Chung Eui-yong, the national security adviser, presided over the session. The other members of the NSC panel include the foreign, defense and unification ministers, as well as the director of the National Intelligence Service. (Yonhap)