US Secretary of Defense travels to South Korea and the Philippines

The Pentagon announced that Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will soon travel to South Korea and the Philippines to discuss strengthening the defense partnership between Washington and the two countries.

“I can confirm that in the coming weeks, Secretary Austin will visit the Republic of Korea and the Philippines to meet with senior officials and military leaders from the two countries,” Pentagon spokesman Patrick Ryder said at a news conference on Tuesday.

He noted that both visits will take place “as the United States and the two countries that are major allies continue to strengthen their defense partnership.”

“This tour confirms our unwavering commitment to working with allies and partners to develop a common vision for how to keep the Indo-Pacific free and open,” he added.

And South Korean agency Yonhap reported that Austin could visit the country before the end of this month to hold talks with his South Korean counterpart Lee Jong Sub and meet with President Yoon Seok Yol.

The parties are expected to discuss the situation on the Korean Peninsula, North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, and security cooperation with Japan.

Source: TASS

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