Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III spoke with Republic of Korea (ROK) Minister of National Defense Lee Jong-sup today. Secretary Austin reaffirmed the ironclad U.S. commitment to the defense of the ROK. The two leaders committed to maintaining “fight tonight” readiness and close cooperation in the face of continued provocative actions by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
During the call, Secretary Austin congratulated Minister Lee on his appointment and underscored the U.S. commitment to defend the ROK through both the U.S.-ROK combined defense posture and the U.S. extended deterrent.
Secretary Austin and Minister Lee exchanged views on the security environment on the Korean Peninsula and in the Indo-Pacific region and affirmed the importance of maintaining the international rules-based order.
Both sides agreed to enhance trilateral cooperation with Japan and broader cooperation in the region between the U.S. and ROK governments. Secretary Austin also thanked Minister Lee for continued ROK support to Ukraine.