Though 2010 was a bad year for inter-Korean relations, it was a good one for the U.S.-South Korea alliance. Washington stood solidly behind Seoul following a series of North Korean provocations, helping to fortify bilateral ties. As a result, at a moment when at least one of the presidential administrations is certain to leave office soon, relations between the two allies are the best they have been in decades.

Global Insights: Obama, Lee Partnership Solidifies U.S.-South Korea Ties

By , , Column

This past week’s 44th annual U.S.-South Korea Security Consultative meeting chaired by South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin and U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta provides an opportunity to benchmark the health of the alliance at a moment when at least one of the presidential administrations, that of South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, is certain to leave office soon.

At their meeting, the two countries’ defense establishments agreed to continue transitioning wartime operational command responsibilities to the South Korean military, retain 28,500 U.S. troops in South Korea, expand U.S.-South Korea cooperation in new areas such as outer space and the cyber domain, and refine their deterrence strategies to counter North Korea’s nuclear, missile and other asymmetric capabilities. ...

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