Secretary of Defense Ash Carter met with Republic of Korea National Security Advisor Director Kim Kwan-jin in Seoul today during his first trip to the Asia-Pacific as Secretary of Defense. Secretary Carter and Director Kim -- who have known each other for many years -- reaffirmed the U.S.-Republic of Korea (ROK) Alliance, which is critical to deterring the North Korean nuclear, WMD, and ballistic missile threat that continues to put the Korean Peninsula's stability and security at risk, and is a linchpin of the U.S. rebalance to the Asia-Pacific. During their meeting, Secretary Carter made clear that as an alliance, the United States and the Republic of Korea continue to stand shoulder to shoulder to address these threats and respond to any provocation. The two leaders also discussed ongoing progress in strengthening the U.S.-ROK alliance, ranging from implementing the joint decision to move to a conditions-based transfer of wartime operational control to the December 2014 trilateral ROK-U.S.-Japan information sharing agreement to help deter North Korean aggression. Secretary Carter also expressed his personal interest in further strengthening the alliance, which has a growing importance on peace and stability around the globe.