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U.S., South Korean military chiefs reaffirm alliance

(Xinhua)

09:03, October 24, 2012

WASHINGTON, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey and his South Korean counterpart Jung Seung-jo on Tuesday conducted the United States-Republic of Korea Military Committee Meeting, and reaffirmed the commitment to the alliance.

According to a joint communique provided by the Pentagon, Dempsey and Jung reaffirmed the two countries' alliance, as well as the need to "further strengthen the alliance's capabilities and commitment to the defense of the Republic of Korea, particularly in a time of new and emerging challenges on the Korean Peninsula and in the region."

The two also used the opportunity to conduct a joint assessment of the recent trends involving the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), and reaffirmed that any "aggression or military provocation" will not be tolerated and that the two sides would work together to demonstrate a "combined resolve."

To this end, the two sides "reiterated their commitment to further strengthen the alliance's deterrent capabilities and discussed issues pertaining to the stable transition of wartime operational control (OPCON) to the Republic of Korea." They emphasized agreed transition deadline of December 2015.

The meeting preceded a visit to the Pentagon by South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin, who will meet with his U.S. counterpart Leon Panetta on Wednesday.

The Pentagon didn't say where the meeting between the two military chiefs took place, but South Korean media have reported beforehand the annual defense talk was to be conducted via video conference.

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