A top U.S. military commander has questioned North Korea’s seriousness about abandoning its nuclear weapons.
“We think it is unlikely that North Korea will give up all of its nuclear weapons or production capabilities, but seeks to negotiate partial denuclearization in exchange for U.S. and international concessions,” U.S. Indo-Pacific Command head Adm. Philip Davidson told the Senate Armed Services at a hearing on Tuesday. He added that the assessment is in line with that of the U.S. intelligence community.
In response to a senator’s question about regarding the possibility of a U.S. troop withdrawal from South Korea, U.S. Forces Korea commander Gen. Robert Abrams said that the U.S. troops need to remain in South Korea until a peace treaty is signed. He added that the current posture "is appropriate in terms of providing an adequate deterrent" against North Korea. Depicting the South Korea-U.S. alliance as a steadfast tie formed with blood, the commander expressed his appreciation to South Korea for the recently renewed agreement on sharing the cost for maintaining the USFK.
The commander of U.S. Forces Korea also noted that the U.S. military needs to maintain a balance between the need to conduct military exercises and the space for the Department of State’s North Korea diplomacy, adding that the USFK is coordinating the size, scope, amount and timing of its exercises.