Arranged weeks ago, but the timing couldn't have been better.
South Korea's Defense Minister Song Young-moo and his U.S. counterpart James Mattis sat down for talks on Wednesday in Washington.
Their first face-to-face at the Pentagon came just two days after North Korea's latest missile test over Japan.
When asked prior to the meeting about whether all diplomatic solutions had been exhausted on North Korea, Mattis answered with a resounding "No."
"We're never out of diplomatic solutions. We continue to work together and the minister and I share a responsibility to provide for the protection of our nations, our populations and our interests."
Contradicting an earlier declaration made by President Trump that "talking is not the answer" when dealing with North Korea, Mattis emphasized the benefits of economic and diplomatic pressure over military pressure.
The two defense chiefs also condemned the regime's repeated missile threats and reaffirmed the strength of their military alliance.
"I have no doubt in my mind that these issues will be resolved through the strength of the ROK-U.S. alliance, as we have done in the past."
Later in the day, Song met with White House National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, who said the U.S. will defend South Korea with every means possible against threats from North Korea, and that the two countries will work closely together as allies to deal with all issues related to the regime.
He will also be discussing North Korea issues with Admiral Harry Harris, head of the US Pacific Command.
Lee Jeong-yeon, Arirang News.