South Korea and the United States held talks in Seoul Thursday on North Korea's growing threat online and arms control, Seoul's defense ministry said Thursday.
"The two sides discussed such issues as North Korea's hacking attack on Sony Pictures and possible measures to respond to Pyongyang's possible cyberattacks," defense ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok told a regular briefing.
Washington imposed fresh sanctions on Pyongyang early this month for its alleged hacking of Sony Pictures over its comedy film "The Interview," which depicts a plot to kill the North's leader Kim Jong-un.
The meeting between Frank Rose, assistant secretary of state for arms control, verification and compliance, and Ryu Je-seung, Seoul's deputy minister for national defense policy, came hours after the vice foreign ministers of the allies held discussions on North Korea's denuclearization in Seoul.
While the U.S. has gotten tough on the communist country, South Korea is awaiting a response from North Korea for its proposal to have high-level talks, causing some critics to call on the allies to fine-tune their policy toward Pyongyang.
The U.S. State Department said earlier this week the two sides will discuss "topics of mutual interest including extended deterrence, missile defense, arms control and outer space security," while the Seoul government dismissed some news reports, saying that the two sides will not touch upon the advanced U.S.
missile-defense system, the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery.
Washington has said it is considering deploying the THAAD battery on Korean soil to better defend against missile threats from North Korea, while South Korea has officially disavowed its intention to join or host it.
"The U.S. has yet to make a decision on the issue, and we've not received any request for cooperation regarding the THAAD," Kim said. "The two sides will not discuss the matter (during the meeting).
Rose's trip to Seoul is part of a four-nation trip that includes stops in Myanmar, China and Britain.
On Tuesday, Rose was in Naypyidaw, the capital of Myanmar, also known as Burma, for discussions on a range of arms control subjects, including ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention with foreign and defense ministry officials.
The diplomat then will fly to Beijing on Monday for the U.S.-China Security Dialogue, together with Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller, before visiting London to attend the sixth annual P5 Conference, according to the department. (Yonhap)