Seoul: US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, who is currently on a visit to the Indo-Pacific countries, arrived in South Korea on Friday. In the last ten days, North Korea tested missiles twice while criticizing the US and South Korean military cooperation. Given the developments, the US Defense Secretary’s visit to South Korea assumes significance.
North Korea has launched four missiles towards Japan, giving rise to tensions in the region. North Korea is believed to have tested missiles in protest of the military exercises held by the US and South Korea. Furthermore, North Korea justified the missile tests saying bilateral talks with the United States was not possible by any means.
However, even after the tests, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the US was firm on bilateral talks with North Korea. Also, Pompeo said that it would not affect the cooperation with South Korea. On the sidelines of the developments, the US Defense Secretary’s visit to South Korea is vital. Esper met the South Korean Defense Minister, Jeong Kyeong-doo and stated that the military cooperation between the two nations would continue further.
Moreover, a significant shift was observed in the North Korean stance after Dictator Kim Jong-un’s visit to China last month.