S. Korea, U.S. to continue joint drills, refine Seoul's leading role against local provocation

  • Published : Dec 8, 2010 - 15:50
  • Updated : Dec 8, 2010 - 15:50

Military chiefs from South Korea and the United States agreed Wednesday to continue joint drills to effectively deter North Korean aggression and refine Seoul's leading role in dealing with local provocations, giving the South more authority in the case of future attacks by the North. 

Gen. Han Min-koo of the Republic of Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff and his counterpart Amd. Mike Mullen of the U.S. poses in the bilateral meeting Wednesday, Nov. 8. 2010. (Yonhap News)

In a joint statement issued after their talks in Seoul, Gen. Han Min-koo of the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff and his U.S. counterpart Adm. Mike Mullen said they "agreed to primarily refine the ROK-supported, U.S.-supporting plans for local provocation in order for the alliance to resolutely respond to further North Korean aggression." 

ROK is an acronym of South Korea's official name, the Republic of Korea.

Han and Mullen also "agreed to continue combined exercises designed to effectively deter North Korean aggression and strengthen the joint capabilities to respond," the statement said.

Military tensions on the Korean Peninsula spiked to one of their highest levels in decades, following the North's artillery assault on Yeonpyeong Island on Nov. 23 near the tense Yellow Sea border.

The brazen assault marked the first time North Korea has targeted a civilian area on the South's territory since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.

The two sides "acknowledged that the artillery fire on Yeonpyeong was a deliberate and illegal armed attack which violates the U.N. charter and armistice agreement" that ended the 1950-53 Korean War, the statement said. (Yonhap News)