Mattis Congratulates South Korea's New Defense Minister

WASHINGTON --

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis spoke by phone yesterday with South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo to congratulate him on his confirmation for the position and to discuss a range issues related to the U.S.-South Korean alliance, chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White said in a statement released today. 

"Both Secretary Mattis and Minister Song strongly condemned North Korea's second intercontinental ballistic missile test on July 28 and resolved to continue to closely coordinate responses to the North Korean threat," White said. 

Ironclad Commitment

Mattis reaffirmed the ironclad U.S. commitment to defend South Korea and emphasized the military's role in providing extended deterrence, she added, and expressed his commitment to the ongoing diplomatic effort to achieve the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Both defense leaders reiterated the importance of the alliance and expressed their commitment to build a stronger partnership based on mutual trust and cooperation, White said, noting that they will meet later this month in Washington.