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S.Korea, US launch counter-missile working group amid escalating N.Korean threats

Nov. 18, 2022 - 17:58 By Ji Da-gyum
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup engage in a bilateral exchange at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., Nov. 3, 2022. (DoD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Alexander Kubitza)
South Korea and the United States on Friday launched a new working group tailored to step up their policy coordination and communication to strengthen the alliance’s counter-missile capability and posture in light of escalating North Korean missile threats.

The first meeting of the Counter-Missile Working Group was held in Seoul around two weeks after the South Korean and US defense chiefs discussed ways to enhance the alliance’s deterrence and readiness posture at the 54th Security Consultative Meeting on Nov. 3 at the Pentagon, South Korea’s Defense Ministry said Friday.

During the meeting, South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin agreed on the necessity to expeditiously operate the consultative body, according to the Defense Ministry. 

North Korea has fired more than 60 ballistic missiles, including eight intercontinental ballistic missiles, this year.

Seoul and Washington first agreed to establish the CMWG within the high-level Deterrence Strategy Committee at the South Korea-US Integrated Defense Dialogue in August in a bid to lay the ground for profound policy coordination in countering North Korean missile threats.

“South Korea and the US will strengthen the cooperation between the two defense ministries in preparation for escalating North Korean missile threats,” the ministry said. “Both will promote policy cooperation more expeditiously to strengthen the alliance’s counter-missile capability and readiness posture.”