Woog's statement reads as follows:
Secretary Hagel called Republic of Korea Minister of National Defense Kim Kwan-Jin on his flight from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia to Beijing, China prior to boarding the E4-B to return to the United States having spent 10 days in the Asia-Pacific region.
Secretary Hagel discussed with Minister Kim the meetings he had in China, noting that on the whole, the talks were substantive and constructive both in terms of the potential for U.S.-China military-to-military cooperation as in the management of differences between the two sides.
Secretary Hagel told Minister Kim that his discussions in China included a focus on North Korea, and the threat to the United States and the region posed by North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile developments. In this context, he also noted his recent decision to send two additional BMD capable Navy destroyers to Japan by 2017.
He thanked Minister Kim for his support for the Defense Trilateral Talks Plenary in Washington next week and said all three nations must do all they can to strengthen this trilateral cooperation to deal with the threat from North Korea.
The secretary also discussed the meetings he had in Japan and the first ever U.S.-hosted ASEAN defense ministers' meeting in Hawaii noting all of these sessions help contribute to the United States goal of supporting allies and partners and achieving continued economic growth and prosperity.
Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.