Today at Cheong Wa Dae, President Moon Jae-in met with U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, U.S. Ambassador to Korea Harry Harris and Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley.
At the meeting, which lasted for 50 minutes from 4:00 p.m., President Moon made a positive assessment of Secretary of Defense Esper’s remark about the possibility of postponing this year’s planned joint air exercise. The President and the U.S. Secretary of Defense exchanged ideas on a variety of topics that included North Korea’s response to the Defense Secretary’s comment.
President Moon noted that, although the situation on the Korean Peninsula was very unstable just two years ago, a new phase has now been created through dialogue. In reply, the Secretary of Defense expressed profound agreement, adding that the countries are now on a path toward peace thanks to the leadership of President Donald Trump and President Moon as well.
President Moon explained Korea’s basic stance regarding the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) that it is difficult to share military intelligence with Japan since it imposed export restrictions, claiming that it could not trust Korea on the security front. Noting that security cooperation among Korea, the United States and Japan is also important, President Moon said that he would make continued efforts. Secretary of Defense Esper expressed agreement.
The U.S. Secretary of Defense said that he understands well the issues related to GSOMIA, adding that he will ask Japan to do its part as well so that the matter can be solved smoothly.
Lastly, President Moon and Secretary Esper concurred that to bring about the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and establish a permanent peace regime, the two sides should work together to achieve common goals through close communication as they have been doing all along.