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U.S. Secretary of Navy to visit S. Korea on first overseas trip

All News 04:34 October 22, 2021

By Byun Duk-kun

WASHINGTON, Oct. 21 (Yonhap) -- U.S. Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro will visit South Korea as part of his first overseas trip that will also take him to Japan, the U.S. Navy said Thursday.

The secretary was set to embark on his trip on Thursday, according to the Navy.

"Secretary Del Toro will meet with senior leaders in Hawaii, Japan, Republic of Korea, Guam, and Papua New Guinea to discuss the importance of international defense partnerships, and reinforce the United States' commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region," it said in a press release, referring to South Korea by its official name.

The U.S. Navy noted the secretary's trip comes after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin released a strategic guidance for the Navy that included "his priorities on maintaining U.S. maritime dominance, and bolstering strategic partnerships to further strengthen collaboration with partner nations in the region."

"The Indo-Pacific region is a priority for the Department of Defense and the Department of Navy," Del Toro was quoted as saying.

""To ensure U.S. dominance against an evolving threat environment, we must be present, persistent and powerful in our integrated maritime strategy," Del Toro said, according to the press release.

The secretary's trip to region also follows a series of missile tests by North Korea that the country claims included the test launch of a new hypersonic missile in late September. The North also test fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile this week.

The trip marks Del Toro's first overseas trip since coming into office in August.

The U.S. maintains some 28,500 troops on the Korean Peninsula under its bilateral treaty of mutual defense with South Korea.


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