The US and South Korea have reaffirmed their military alliance and agreed to further strengthen defence cooperation amid increasing regional tensions.

South Korean Defense Minister Suh Wook and the US Defense Secretary Dr Mark T Esper held a bilateral meeting at the Pentagon to discuss defence ties between the two countries.

In the meeting, the two leaders discussed policies to enhance their deterrent capabilities, as well as increase cooperation in space and cyberspace fields.

Additionally, Wook and Esper explored the possibility of enhancing trilateral defence cooperation involving the US, South Korea and Japan.

This comes days after North Korea unveiled large-scale intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) at a military parade in the capital of Pyongyang. According to analysts, the missile would be one of the largest road-mobile ICBMs globally if it becomes operational.

Esper said: “We agree that North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes remain a serious threat to the security and stability of the region and the world.

“In the face of these and other threats, the United States remains committed to the security of the Republic of Korea.”

He further added that the US would welcome increased defence spending by South Korea as it will help in improving regional security.

Several other strategic and operational issues were also discussed in the meeting.

Last month, it was reported that South Korea will start the production of 120mm self-propelled mortar system this year to replace the ageing 107mm mortars.

The 120mm self-propelled mortars will be deployed next year.