US, South Korea defence chiefs discuss boosting alliance

Seoul: The South Korean and US defence chiefs met Thursday for their annual talks, as Washington pushes to reinforce alliances with its partners to curb mounting challenges from China and increasing North Korean nuclear threats.

After the talks, the allies were expected to announce a boosting of their decades-long military alliance while US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin will likely reaffirm America's extended deterrence to South Korea using its full range of military


But some experts say the alliance still faces challenges such as Seoul's historical disputes with Japan, another key US regional ally, and its hesitation to join US-led initiatives targeting China. "The US-ROK Alliance is the linchpin of peace and security in this region and we will work together as we move toward a #FreeandOpenIndoPacific," US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin tweeted.

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