The new top commanding general of American troops in South Korea said Tuesday he will make every effort to beef up the allies' combined defense posture.
In an introductory meeting with Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, Army Gen. Robert B. Abrams said, "The alliance is ironclad."
He added, "I have every intention to strengthen it even more as we move forward together."
The general was sworn in as the leader of the 28,500-strong US Forces Korea earlier this month, replacing Army Gen. Vincent K. Brooks.
Abrams, as Brooks did, also heads the United Nations Command and the allies' Combined Forces Command.
He said he's "off to a great start" in his new post amid a warm welcome and a busy schedule.
Kang cited a "huge change" in the security conditions on the peninsula over the past year.
It has been "possible because of the strong alliance that we have between our two countries," she said. "The alliance has been fundamental to our endeavor and we see that getting stronger and closer as we move forward and your role is instrumental in this."
The minister said that will continue to be the case as the two sides further advance toward denuclearization and lasting peace. (Yonhap)