Attributed to Acting Pentagon Press Secretary Todd Breasseale:
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III welcomed Republic of Korea (ROK) Minister of National Defense Lee Jong-Sup to the Pentagon today, to reaffirm the ironclad U.S. commitment to the U.S.-ROK Alliance and the defense of the ROK.
Both leaders emphasized the importance of close cooperation and maintaining “fight tonight” readiness to reinforce deterrence in the face of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) destabilizing activities.
During the meeting, the two leaders also discussed a broad range of Alliance issues and exchanged views on the security environment on the Korean Peninsula and in the Indo-Pacific region. Both leaders agreed to focus on strengthening readiness and interoperability of Alliance combined forces. Secretary Austin emphasized that the United States stands firm, with the full range of U.S. capabilities, in its extended deterrence commitment to the ROK.
Secretary Austin and Minister Lee also agreed on the importance of cooperating trilaterally with Japan and enhancing regional cooperation that protects shared security and prosperity, upholds common values, and bolsters the rules-based international order.