SOUTH KOREA: ‘ SCHEDULED TO HOLD DEFENCE TALKS WITH US OVER DEAL TO STRENGTHEN COMBINED DEFENCE STRATEGIES ‘

#AceNewsServices – SOUTH KOREA (Seoul) – October 20 – The foreign and defence minsters from South Korea and the United States are scheduled to have a meeting later this week to discuss an array of security issues, Seoul’s foreign ministry said Monday.

South Korea and the U.S. plan to hold a “two plus two” meeting of their foreign and defense ministers Thursday afternoon (Washington Time) in the U.S. capital, according to the foreign ministry.

The planned meeting will bring together South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se, Defense Minister Han Min-koo, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.

“The two sides are fine-tuning the agenda for the meeting,” a foreign ministry official said without elaborating.

The planned meeting, the third of its kind, comes on the heels of the agreement made between South Korean President Park Geun-hye and U.S. President Barack Obama at a summit in April.

Such talks were held in 2010 and 2012 when the two countries discussed how to strengthen their alliance and cope with North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

The two allies will hold their annual defense ministers‘ talks, known as the Security Consultative Meeting (SCM), before the two plus two meeting opens.

Seoul and Washington are expected to unveil a deal on delaying the planned transfer of the wartime operational control (OPCON) of South Korean forces from Washington to Seoul while reaffirming joint efforts to strengthen combined defense capabilities.

It is widely expected that the two sides are taking a “conditions-based approach” to the issue of delaying the OPCON transfer.

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