美防长称保卫韩国的承诺“坚如磐石” Mattis Reassures South Korea of 'Ironclad' US Support

美国国防部长马蒂斯星期四再次向韩国保证,美国对保卫韩国安全的承诺“仍然坚如磐石”。

马蒂斯在首尔与韩国国防部长会谈时做出以上保证。美韩两国官员继续就实现朝鲜非核化进行磋商。

6月早些时候,川普总统在新加坡与朝鲜领导人金正恩会见后宣布暂停与韩国的联合军演。朝鲜长期以来一直呼吁停止美韩军演,担心军演的目的是入侵朝鲜。美国和韩国否认有此企图。

川普总统的决定让东亚地区一些美国盟友对美国的安全保护感到担心。

马蒂斯星期四说,暂停军演为朝鲜半岛实现和平提供了更好的机会。他还说,美国驻韩美军人数不变,两国军队仍将保持警惕,随时准备应对任何挑战。

马蒂斯访问韩国后前往日本,与日本高级官员会谈。

马蒂斯早些时候访问了中国,与中国国家主席习近平会见,并提到南中国海的军事化以及自由航行的问题。

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis reassured South Korea on Thursday that U.S. commitment to its security "remains ironclad."

The comments came as Mattis met with the South Korean Defense Minister in Seoul while negotiators from both countries continue toward the goal of a denuclearized North Korea.

Earlier this month, U.S. President Donald Trump announced the suspension of military exercises with South Korea after he held a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. North Korea had long called for the drills to stop amid fears they were aimed at planning an invasion, which the U.S. and South Korean militaries denied.

Trump's move raised concerns among U.S. allies in the region about the continuing security assistance the United States would provide.

Mattis said Thursday halting the exercises creates a better chance for peace on the Korean peninsula. But he said the number of U.S. troops stationed there will not change, and that both militaries remain "vigilant and ready to defend against any challenge."

The Pentagon chief travels on to Japan for meetings there with senior officials.

He made an earlier stop in China where he met with President Xi Jinping and raised concerns about militarization and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.