Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus meets with U.S. Marine Maj. Gen. Robert Hedelund, the commander of Marine Forces Korea, and Rear Adm. Bill Byrne, the commander of U.S. Naval Forces Korea, Aug. 19. (U.S. Navy/MC1 Ty Connors)

SEOUL, Republic of Korea - The Secretary of the Navy visited U.S. and Republic of Korea civilian and military leaders during a visit to Seoul, Aug. 18-20.

The Honorable Ray Mabus visited the ROK to support and highlight the longstanding partnership between both navies and Marine Corps.

"Our partnership with the Republic of Korea is one of our most important,” said Mabus, “and we are fortunate to have such remarkable Sailors and Marines serving in these critical positions."

During his visit, Mabus met with Marines assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Seoul and thanked them for their service. After meeting them Mabus said hearing from Sailors and Marines is always one of his top priorities.

"I travel in order to talk with Sailors and Marines where they are, where they work and where they live. I want to hear what questions they have for me."

Throughout his brief visit, Mabus met with Mr. Han, Min-koo, ROK Minister of National Defense, Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, commander, U.S. Forces Korea, Gen. Lee, Sun-jin, ROK Chairman the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Jung, Ho Sub, ROK Chief of Naval Operations, Rear Adm. Bill Byrne, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea and Maj. Gen. Robert Hedelund, commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Korea.

“The U.S. and ROK alliance is important,” said Byrne, “and a visit by Secretary Mabus is a clear signal how important our partnership is not just for the region, but for the world as well.”