Hagel meets with South Korea Minister of Defense Kim Kwan Jin

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel met with the Republic of Korea's Minister of Defense Kim Kwan Jin on Wednesday to discuss various issues, including North Korea.

Hagel met with Kim at the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meetings Plus in Brunei. They talked on the sidelines of the conference, reviewing issues that are important to both countries.

Hagel began by thanking Kim for his friendship and went on to reaffirm that the United States is a long enduring defensive ally to South Korea and is aligned with its interests. He stated that it is both their countries obligations to keep vigilant during this period of heightened tension on the Korean peninsula.

Kim and Hagel talked about a new round of U.N. Security Council resolutions that are meant to limit North Korea's progress on its nuclear and missile programs. Hagel said that even though the U.S. will fulfill its security commitments, the path towards peace with North Korea must be done diplomatically.

Hagel finished by saying he was looking forward to more bilateral discussion with Kim and South Korea, especially on strengthening the alliance at the upcoming SCM in Seoul. He is also looking forward to commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Korean War with the leaders of the Republic of Korea.