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Marine Corps chief to visit U.S. to discuss alliance

All Headlines 11:04 February 09, 2017

SEOUL, Feb. 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's Marine Corps chief on Thursday left for the United States for a week-long visit to discuss enhancing cooperation between the allies and expanding the role of the marines in countering North Korea.

Marine Corps Commander Lt. Gen. Lee Sang-hoon will meet his U.S. counterpart Gen. Robert B. Neller during his trip, in reciprocation of Neller's Seoul visit in October. It marks the first U.S. visit by South Korea's Marines chief in a decade, the Marine Corps said in a statement.

"They are expected to mainly discuss measures to strengthen the cooperation between the two nations' Marines Corps and expand South Korea's participation in maritime exercises led by U.S. Marine Corps around the Korean Peninsula," a Marine Corps spokesman said.

The first visit to Seoul by a U.S. Marine Corps chief in eight years was made amid heightened tensions after North Korea conducted its fifth nuclear test in September and a series of missile launches.

During his trip, Lee also plans to meet Lt. Gen. David H. Berger, the commanding general of the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific, in Hawaii, the Marine Corps said.

In this photo taken on June 29, 2016, Marine Corps Commander Lt. Gen. Lee Sang-hoon salutes lawamkers at the National Assembly before a defense meeting held in Yeouido, Seoul. (Yonhap)

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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