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Defense minister meets with US Pacific Air Forces commander

Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo and US Pacific Air Forces commander Gen. Charles Brown agreed Wednesday to boost cooperation between the two countries' air forces for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, the defense ministry said Wednesday.

The meeting took place in Seoul as Brown was in South Korea to attend the Seoul International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition underway at Seoul Airport in Seongnam, south of Seoul, from Tuesday to Sunday.

"Minister Jeong and Commander Brown shared the understanding that the working-level denuclearization talks between the US and North Korea took place thanks to the strong South Korea-US alliance," the ministry said in a release.

US Pacific Air Forces commander Gen. Charles Brown (left) and Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo (Yonhap)
US Pacific Air Forces commander Gen. Charles Brown (left) and Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo (Yonhap)

"To support diplomatic efforts for the denuclearization and the establishment of a lasting peace on the peninsula, the two sides agreed to further deepen communications and cooperation between their air forces," it added.

Top nuclear negotiators from North Korea and the US held working-level talks earlier this month in Sweden, the first negotiations since the breakdown of the second summit between US President Donald Trump and the North's leader Kim Jong-un in February.

North Korea said the talks broke down, though Washington said the two sides had "good" discussions.

The commander also reaffirmed America's "full and continued backing" for the Korea-US joint readiness posture, according to the ministry.

Later in the day, Brown was to meet with South Korea's Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Won In-choul at the exhibition venue.

The biennial ADEX event brought together around 430 defense companies from 34 countries as well as senior foreign delegates, including top-brass air force officers.

The US military sent around 180 service members to the exhibition showcasing its military aircraft such as F-16 fighter jets, which is "a tribute to our continued pledge to promote peace, stability and prosperity on the Korean peninsula," the command said in a release. (Yonhap)