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(LEAD) Korea, U.S. issue joint summit statement

All Headlines 08:12 July 01, 2017

(ATTN: UPDATES with additional details from 4th para)

WASHINGTON, June 30 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and the United States issued a joint statement summarizing the outcome of a summit between their leaders held Friday.

In the six-point statement, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump reaffirmed the bilateral alliance's mission to defend South Korea and their resolve to further strengthen the alliance.

"The two leaders affirmed the alliance's fundamental mission to defend the ROK through a robust combined defense posture and the enhancement of mutual security based on the U.S.-ROK Mutual Defense Treaty," it said. ROK stands for South Korea's official name, the Republic of Korea.

The statement said the leaders have also agreed to work to expeditiously enable the transfer of wartime operational control of South Korean forces to Seoul, a move initially agreed more than a decade earlier but delayed indefinitely under Seoul's former conservative government.

The transfer, however, will be conditioned on Seoul's possession of independent defense capabilities, it said.

Such capabilities include "critical military capabilities necessary to lead the combined defense, and detect, disrupt, destroy, and defend against North Korean nuclear and missile threats, including through interoperable Kill-Chain, Korean Air and Missile Defense (KAMD), and other alliance systems," the statement said.

The two leaders also affirmed their pledge to work for "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner."

The joint statement came after the two leaders said they agreed to a "phased" denuclearization of the communist North through sanctions and dialogue.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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