US, South Korea pledge to strengthen defenses against North

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, center, looks towards North Korea as South Korean Defense Minister Han Min Koo, left, briefs at an observation post near the border village of Panmunjom, which has separated the two Koreas since the Korean War, in Paju, South Korea, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015. Carter called on North Korea to shrink and eventually eliminate its nuclear weapons program, while acknowledging during a visit Sunday to the Demilitarized Zone dividing the two Koreas that prospects for reconciling with the defiant North are dim. (Korea Pool Photo via AP) KOREA OUTSEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The U.S. and South Korea are pledging to strengthen their combined defenses against what they call threats by North Korea, but announced no specific new steps toward a long-delayed transfer of wartime control of South Korean forces from the U.S. military to the South Korean government.

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