BUSAN, Republic of Korea (NNS) — Rear Adm. Pete Gumataotao, Commander, Naval Forces Korea, and Vice Adm. Hwang Ki-chul, commander, Republic of Korea (ROK) Fleet met May 3-4 during one-star level staff talks at the ROK naval headquarters.

Both ROK and U.S. naval leaders and departmental chiefs of staff gathered to discuss current and future maritime operations between their forces.

Gumataotao said one of the goals of cooperative talks like this is the continued interoperability between the United States and its South Korean counterparts.

"Our relations with the ROK navy are essential to execute both short and long term plans of Commander Naval Forces Korea," said Gumataotao.

The staff talks covered several topics concerning both of the nations including future relocations plans for CNFK forces, ongoing construction projects and staff housing.

Joint staff talks like this are essential tools in building strong partnerships with allied nations and contribute to maritime security and stability.

"Relations will only get stronger and develop during this conference," said Hwang. "I offer my sincere gratitude for your work and organization of these staff talks."

Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea (CNFK) is the regional commander for the U.S. Navy in the Republic of Korea (ROK) and provides expertise on naval matters to area military commanders, including the Commander for the United Nations Command; the Republic of Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command; and Commander, U.S. Forces Korea. CNFK also serves as liaison to the ROK Navy and the Combined Forces Commander staff in armistice and in wartime to Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet; based in Yokosuka, Japan.

For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnfk/.