Yoon Suk-yeol taps military official with US-ROK expertise as defense minister

South Korean president-elect Yoon Suk-yeol has nominated a former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) under Moon Jae-in to serve as his defense minister, as the incoming administration calibrates its approach to escalating North Korea tensions since earlier this year.

At a briefing following his selection, retired three-star lieutenant general Lee Jong-sup emphasized the need to build up South Korea’s independent military capabilities while also coordinating with the U.S. to deter threats from Pyongyang.

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