Good morning. I am so pleased that Presidents Biden and Yoon agreed to resume the Extended Deterrence Strategy and Consultation Group (EDSCG) at the May Summit in Seoul. We are meeting today at the Under Secretary and Vice Minister level to fulfill and advance our leaders’ commitment. I want to extend a warm welcome to First Vice Minister Cho Hyundong and Vice Minister Shin Beomchul, and the entire Republic of Korea (ROK) delegation.
The U.S. commitment to the defense of the ROK is ironclad and leverages the full range of U.S. military capabilities. Our alliance is a linchpin of peace, stability, and prosperity, addressing the threat posed by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), as well as new challenges in a rapidly changing security environment.
This is the third meeting of the EDSCG at the Under Secretary and Vice Minister level. It is our goal to ensure the EDSCG is a substantive and sustainable forum, where we can discuss all aspects of our cooperation and coordination—diplomatic, economic, informational, and military—and how they contribute to deterring threats to the alliance.
In today’s meeting, we will discuss the DPRK threat and expanding coordination against all avenues of potential aggression. At a time when the rules-based international order is challenged, we cannot ignore the People’s Republic of China’s resistance to manage and reduce strategic risks that affect the entire region. In particular, we thank the ROK for repeatedly underscoring the importance of stability in the Taiwan Strait.
We will also discuss how the United States and ROK can cooperate with regional partners, including within international organizations, to address these many security challenges.
I once again am grateful to my colleagues, Vice Ministers Cho and Shin, and to my co-chair, Under Secretary Kahl, for their participation in this meeting today, and I look forward to our discussion.