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(LEAD) Defense chief discusses N. Korea's cyber threats with U.S. commander

2017/11/09 17:25

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(ATTN: UPDATES with USFK's statement in last 3 paras)

SEOUL, Nov. 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo met the head of U.S. Cyber Command in Seoul on Thursday for discussions on North Korea, his ministry said.

Song and Adm. Michael S. Rogers, who doubles as director of the National Security Agency (NSA), agreed on the importance of close coordination between the allies in the cybersecurity sector based on mutual trust and a close bond, according to the ministry.

Song pointed out that the North's advancing cyber threat poses a "real" challenge to the alliance.

The admiral also vowed support for the strengthening of bilateral cooperation in the field, added the ministry.

Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, commander of U.S. Forces Korea (USFK), and Vice Adm. Kim Jong-il, who leads South Korea's Cyber Command, also joined the meeting.

South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo (R) shakes hands with Adm. Michael S. Rogers, commander of U.S. Cyber Command, at a meeting in Seoul on Nov. 9, 2017. (Yonhap) South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo (R) shakes hands with Adm. Michael S. Rogers, commander of U.S. Cyber Command, at a meeting in Seoul on Nov. 9, 2017. (Yonhap)

In a separate statement, USFK said the military leaders discussed ways to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the cyber domain and how to increase capabilities to meet emerging cyber threats.

The two sides agreed that there were many opportunities to expand relevant cooperation.

"The ROK-U.S. Alliance has a long history of working and learning together across the domains of land, sea and air. Cyberspace -– and the threats posed by North Korea within it -– requires us to do the same," said the USFK commander. "Admiral Rogers' presence here illustrates the importance of the ROK-U.S. alliance in the cyber realm." ROK refers to South Korea's official name of the Republic of Korea.

lcd@yna.co.kr

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