01:48 GMT +324 March 2018
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    U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis (L) shakes hands with his South Korean counterpart Han Min-Koo following a joint briefing at the Defense Ministry in Seoul on February 3, 2017

    Mattis Reassures South Korean Defense Minister on US Steadfast Commitment

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    US Defense Secretary James Mattis and South Korea Minister of National Defense Han Min-Koo on Tuesday discussed on phone their committed partnership against national security threats, according to the Department of Defense press release.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US Defense Secretary James Mattis and South Korea Minister of National Defense Han Min-Koo on Tuesday discussed on phone their committed partnership against national security threats, the Department of Defense said in a press release.

    “Secretary Mattis said that the United States remains steadfast in its commitment to the defense of the ROK," the release stated on Tuesday. "He further emphasized that any attack on the United States or its allies will be defeated, and any use of nuclear weapons will be met with a response that is effective and overwhelming.”

    The talks between the two leaders revolved around North Korea’s most recent ballistic missile launch on February 12, the release noted.

    In addition, Mattis welcomed an official land transfer from conglomerate company Lotte Group to the government of South Korea for property in the Seongju county of the Gyeongsang Province in the eastern portion of South Korea, the release stated.

    South Korea will use the newly-acquired land to station Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense, which is a defense weapons system, to defend against North Korean missile threats, the release stated.


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