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Korea, U.S. seek to expand military cooperation in space

South Korea and the U.S. military agreed on Wednesday to strengthen cooperation on space and cyber security to counter North Korea’s provocations.

The defense chiefs of the two allies also said that they have developed a roadmap to boost extended deterrence against North Korea’s nuclear threats.

South Korea’s Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin and U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta held their annual security talks in Washington D.C.

“Both sides decided to develop a tailored bilateral deterrence strategy through the Extended Deterrence Policy Committee, which serves as a cooperation mechanism to enhance the effectiveness of extended deterrence, particularly against North Korean nuclear and weapons of mass destruction threats,” they said in a joint statement after the bilateral Security Consultative Meeting.

The partnership will further strengthen South Korea’s alert systems and allow exchange of information via satellite, a South Korean defense official said.

Also, the two sides will maintain their schedule of transferring wartime operational control to South Korea by 2015.

South Korean officials said the two allies will carry out an efficient command system after the transfer through the strategic support from the U.S.

The two countries also will boost South Korea’s anti-ballistic missile system and enhance combined capabilities to counter North Korea provocations in the maritime border.

“Any North Korean aggression or military provocation is not to be tolerated and the U.S. and the Republic of Korea will work shoulder-to-shoulder to demonstrate our combined resolve,” they said.

By Park Hyong-ki