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'U.S. to deploy all strategic assets to deter N. Korea,' say U.S. military leaders

'U.S. to deploy all strategic assets to deter N. Korea,' say U.S. military leaders

Posted August. 23, 2017 08:50,   

Updated August. 23, 2017 09:05

Top U.S. military leaders announced on Tuesday that they would put strain on North Korea provocations and defend South Korea by deploying all strategic assets and military capabilities.

U.S. Pacific Command Adm. Harry Harris, Gen. John Hyten, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, and Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency arrived in Seoul on Tuesday. The group of U.S. military leaders held a press conference for domestic and foreign journalists at the Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province on the day, and said that actions and activities of North Korea, such as nuclear and missile provocations, are dangerous to both South Korea and the U.S.

It is the first time that top three U.S. military leaders in charge of deployment and operation of the US military capabilities visited together South Korea and held a joint conference. Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, commanding general of the U.S. Forces Korea, and Gen. Kim Byeong-joo, deputy commander of the South Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command, also attended.

“The Ulchi-Freedom guardian (UFG) training and other joint exercises are very important. Exercises are a way of making sure that the option is a ready option and it’s a capable option.” Brooks said. "The allies should continue combined training despite 'routine noise' from the North and we would stand firm against the country." He also commented that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un should make the right decision. Harris pointed out that THAAD successfully intercepted in 15 trials and said with confidence, “The U.S. is capable to intercept all missiles (of enemies) fired on our defense zone (including the U.S. mainland and our allies) and we are fully ready to protect our ally (South Korea).”

Immediately after the briefing, the key U.S. military leaders flew by helicopter to the U.S. base in Seongju, North Gyeongsang Province where THAAD was deployed and encouraged U.S. soldiers. Their move was a strong warning against Kim Jong Un not to test or challenge the U.S. military capabilities with nuclear and missile provocations.

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com · Hyo-Ju Son hjson@donga.com