Secretary of Defense Spokesperson Cmdr. Gary Ross provided the following readout:
Secretary of Defense James Mattis held separate meetings with Republic of Korea (ROK) Minister of Foreign Affairs Yun Byung-Se, and ROK Minister of National Defense Han Min-Koo today in Seoul, South Korea.
Secretary Mattis noted that his first trip as secretary of defense to the ROK underscored the priority the Trump Administration places on the Asia-Pacific region, and on strengthening the U.S.-ROK alliance. Secretary Mattis said that the United States remains steadfast in its commitment to the defense of the ROK people. He further emphasized that any attack on the United States, or its allies, will be defeated, and any use of nuclear weapons would be met with a response that would be effective and overwhelming.
During both meetings, Secretary Mattis and his ROK counterparts discussed the regional security environment, including the evolving threats posed by North Korea, and determined the need to continue to consult and cooperate closely together. Secretary Mattis and Minister Han further resolved to move forward with critical defensive measures, such as deploying a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery to the ROK, enhancing alliance readiness, and taking steps to improve trilateral cooperation with Japan.
Secretary Mattis concluded both meetings by reiterating that he looked forward to working closely with Minister Yun and Minister Han to further strengthen the U.S.-ROK alliance.
Release No: NR-044-17
Feb. 3, 2017