South Korea and the U.S. have started their bi-annual defense talks in Seoul.
That's the 20th Korea-U.S. Integrated Defense Dialogue which began on Monday and will run for two days.
South Korea's Deputy Defense Minister for Policy, Kim Man-ki , thanked the American delegation for their support during last month's 'Operation Miracle' to evacuate around 380 Afghans from potential danger under the Taliban.
He said it was a reminder of their alliance forged in the Korean War, and he said the two sides continue to develop a more comprehensive and forward-looking alliance in the face of the persistent challenges posed by North Korea.
In response, the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia, Siddharth Mohandas, said it was significant that they're holding talks face-to-face in the pandemic.
Last month's joint military exercises, he said, support the alliance's defense posture and moreover, world peace, especially considering North Korea's missile launches.