SEOUL, June 17 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup met with a visiting delegation of a key U.S. foreign policy think tank in Seoul on Friday to discuss regional security and the bilateral alliance, his ministry said.
His meeting with the members of the American Foreign Policy Council (AFPC) came as Seoul and Washington are stepping up security coordination amid tensions caused by Pyongyang's continued missile launches and speculation that it could conduct a nuclear test.
The AFPC members in Seoul included Dov Zakheim, a former senior Pentagon official, and Allison Hooker, a former National Security Council official.
At the meeting, Lee stressed the North's series of ballistic missiles are acts of provocation that "very seriously" threaten peace on the Korean Peninsula and in the international community, and that the South and the U.S. are closely cooperating to deter the North's provocations, according to the ministry.
Lee also pledged that Seoul will play a necessary role in the process of the South Korea-U.S. partnership being developed into a "global comprehensive strategic alliance."
The AFPC members showed their interest in the South's measures to deal with the North's nuclear and missile capabilities and other related security issues, the ministry said.
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