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Defense minister declares no retreat on national security issues

2017/03/20 16:58

SEOUL, March 20 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's Defense Minister Han Min-koo stressed Monday there will be no "compromise or concession" on issues directly related to national security when inspecting the ongoing annual combined military training with the United States.

In contemporary wars, he said, it's important to secure the capability of sustaining fighting if necessary through the rapid deployment of additional troops and stable logistical support, he said.

"There can't be compromise or concessions on issues to decide the security of our country and the life of our people," Han said during a visit to the Army's Second Operational Command where the allies' Key Resolve exercise was under way.

South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo speaks during a visit to an Army base to inspect the joint Key Resolve exercise with the U.S. on March 20, 2017, in this photo provided by his ministry. (Yonhap) South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo speaks during a visit to an Army base to inspect the joint Key Resolve exercise with the U.S. on March 20, 2017, in this photo provided by his ministry. (Yonhap)

The drill, which kicked off last week, is a computer-simulated command post exercise aimed at improving their operation and combat readiness against threats from North Korea.

The minister's comments came amid a strong backlash from the North and China that have called for an immediate halt to the training for the sake of what they call "easing tensions" on the Korean Peninsula.

Seoul and Beijing are at odds each other over the just-begun installation of an advanced U.S. missile defense system here.

lcd@yna.co.kr

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