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Defense Secretary Austin to visit S. Korea soon: Pentagon

Jan. 18, 2023 - 09:26 By Yonhap

US Department of Defense Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder is seen taking a question during a daily press briefing at the Pentagon in Washington on Tuesday (Pentagon)

WASHINGTON -- US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will visit South Korea in the near future, a Pentagon spokesperson said Tuesday.

Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder added the upcoming trip will reaffirm the US' commitment to working with its Asian ally.

"Secretary Austin will travel to the Republic of Korea and the Philippines to meet with senior government and military leaders in both countries as the United States and these two critical allies continue to bolster our defense partnerships," the defense department spokesperson told a daily press briefing, referring to South Korea by its official name.

Ryder said the trip will take place in the "coming weeks."

South Korea's defense ministry earlier said Seoul and Washington were currently in discussion to arrange Austin's visit.

Austin's proposed trip to Seoul follows the US-Japan Security Consultative Committee meeting held here last week, at which the countries' top diplomats and defense chiefs highlighted the importance of trilateral cooperation among South Korea, Japan and the US to tackle various regional issues, including threats posed by North Korea. (Yonhap)