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(LEAD) S. Korea, U.S. agree to expand cybersecurity cooperation

All News 00:54 August 06, 2021

(ATTN: CHANGES dateline; UPDATES with reports of a readout from the U.S. Department of Defense in paras 4-6)

SEOUL/WASHINGTON, Aug. 5 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and the United States have agreed to strengthen cooperation in responding to growing global cybersecurity threats as they held a joint defense committee meeting on information and communications technology, the defense ministry said Thursday.

During the inaugural session of the U.S.-ROK ICT Cooperation Committee, held via a video conference Wednesday, they also agreed to set up various information sharing systems to boost combined combat capabilities by securing better interoperability, according to the ministry.

"To maintain a firm combined readiness posture, the two sides agreed to enhance cooperation in various fields, including weapons systems," the ministry said in a release.

The U.S. Department of Defense said the inaugural meeting of the bilateral Information and Communication Technology Cooperation Committee (ICTCC) demonstrated the countries' commitment to maintain "the strongest dialogue and cooperation" in various areas that include cybersecurity, defense information technology and command, control and communications.

"The ICTCC provides both nations with a key mechanism for senior consultations and a forum to exchange information and share best practices to facilitate interoperability," it said in a released statement.

The Pentagon said the forum is expected to become an annual event with the next meeting scheduled to be held in 2022.

In this photo, provided by the defense ministry, Han Hyun-soo, chief of the ministry's Office of Planning & Coordination, poses for a photo during the first U.S.-ROK ICT Cooperation Committee session on Aug. 4, 2021. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


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