The defense secretary also presented coins to about 100 soldiers. He asked one soldier where he was from, to which the reply was Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
"Pine Bluff? I think I've got a bar bill there!" Hagel said.
During the trip, the defense department also reiterated U.S. support for South Korea in the event of military aggression from the North. Little also said that North Korea cannot unilaterally terminate the Armistice Agreement, according to legal language included in it.
This is Hagel's first trip in nearly five years to the country that has been a theater of war for the United States longer than any other in history.
On his last visit in summer 2008, he traveled with then-Senator Barack Obama.
Hagel told reporters that he's known Afghan President Hamid Karzai for 11 years and he expects to talk with him about many topics, including the recent restrictions on U.S. Special Operations Forces.
"We're still at war in Afghanistan," he said, although it was never the United States' intention to stay indefinitely.
Many in Congress, including several high-ranking members of his Republican Party, opposed Hagel's nomination; the final vote in the Senate was 58-41.
Besides not liking his past comments about Israel and Iran, they bristled at his comments over the years about Iraq and Afghanistan, some of which came after the 2008 trip.