He said the United States “will maintain defense and deterrence capabilities against a range of potential threats from (China) to ourselves and our allies.”
Earlier this week, the Pentagon released the results of a review of the global posture that guides further cooperation with allies and partners to deter “potential military aggression from China and threats from North Korea.” . The review also informed Austin’s approval of the permanent stationing of a rotating attack helicopter squadron and artillery division headquarters in South Korea.
South Korea has been reluctant to join US-led regional initiatives to curb China’s rise to prominence, as its export-driven economy relies heavily on China, its largest trading partner. Seoul’s diplomatic and trade feuds with Japan, which largely stemmed from Tokyo’s past colonization of the Korean peninsula, also worsened prospects for a US push to solidify trilateral security cooperation with its two main Asian allies.