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S. Korean, U.S. defense chiefs to hold talks about N. Korea

All Headlines 05:30 June 03, 2019

SEOUL, June 3 (Yonhap) -- The defense chiefs of South Korea and the United States were set to meet in Seoul on Monday to discuss the situation on the Korean Peninsula and ways to boost the alliance between the two countries, the defense ministry said.

South Korean Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo and acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan are scheduled to hold one-on-one talks later in the day in Seoul following their trilateral meeting in Singapore a day earlier with Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya.

Shanahan arrived in Seoul from Singapore on Sunday for a two-day visit as part of his four-nation trip to Asia.

"During the (bilateral) talks, the two sides plan to discuss ways to cooperate regarding the security situation on the Korean Peninsula, and to have in-depth talks on a wide range of alliance issues, such as combined exercises and the transfer of the wartime operational control," the ministry said in a release.

The planned meeting comes at a time when negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea on the North's nuclear program have been stalled.

In an apparent expression of discontent, North Korea carried out weapons tests twice last month, involving two short-range missiles.

Shanahan, whom U.S. President Donald Trump intends to nominate as his defense secretary, has been the acting defense secretary since January.

Following the talks, Shanahan will likely meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in to exchange views on North Korean issues, according to Moon's office.

South Korean Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo (L) and acting U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan (Yonhap)

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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