Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin warned North Korea on Thursday that U.S. military forces are prepared to “fight tonight” after the Hermit Kingdom condemned military drills with South Korea that they called preparations for invasion.
The U.S. and South Korean militaries are conducting drills after being forced to halt exercises last February because of the pandemic. Austin called the alliance between the U.S. and South Korea a “linchpin” for peace, security, and prosperity for Northeast Asia.
Austin stated that the U.S. was committed to the “denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” He also spoke of the importance of keeping the military ready for all possible scenarios when it comes to North Korea and China.
“Our force remains ready to ‘fight tonight,’ and we continue to make progress toward the eventual transition of wartime Operational Control to a [Republic of Korea]-commanded, future Combined Forces Command,” the defense secretary declared. “While meeting all the conditions for this transition will take more time, I’m confident that this process will strengthen our alliance.”
Our commitment to the security of the Republic of Korea is ironclad, and the U.S.-Republic of Korea Alliance is the linchpin of peace, security, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region. Thank you very much to Minister Suh for the warm welcome. pic.twitter.com/8bUP6V7ujt
— Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III (@SecDef) March 17, 2021
“Given the unprecedented challenges posed by both the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and China, the U.S.-ROK alliance has never been more important,” Austin affirmed.
“Over the course of the development of the alliance, it is of utmost importance to maintain our combined defense posture and the formidable deterrence against North Korea,” Minister of Defense Suh Wook said. “Going forward, we will continue to further strengthen our bond as a military alliance.”
The U.S. remains committed to the defense of the ROK using the full range of U.S. capabilities. As the U.S. and ROK continue to maintain a robust combined defense posture, we also remain committed to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. pic.twitter.com/QhdHggiC4r
— Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III (@SecDef) March 18, 2021
Talks with North Korea over denuclearization have stalled over sanctions and are currently going nowhere. A deal is once again being discussed to lift sanctions if North Korea will freeze its nuclear activities. This has been tried over and over again with little to no success in the past.
The sister of Kim Jong-Un warned America earlier this week to “refrain from causing a stink.” She tore into the military drills being conducted jointly by the United States and South Korea, calling them an invasion rehearsal.
“We take this opportunity to warn the new U.S. administration trying hard to give off powder smell in our land,” Kim Yo Jong proclaimed in a statement released to state news agency KCNA. “If it wants to sleep in peace for coming four years, it had better refrain from causing a stink at its first step.”
“The South Korean government yet again chose the ‘March of War,’ the ‘March of Crisis,’” she declared.
“War drills and hostility can never go with dialogue and cooperation,” stated Kim Yo Jong.
She ridiculed South Korea for “resorting to shrunken war games, now that they find themselves in the quagmire of political, economic and epidemic crisis.”
North Korea is reportedly getting ready to conduct new missile tests to either intimidate the U.S. and/or to get concessions once again.
According to Fox News, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and their South Korean counterparts issued a statement that “North Korean nuclear and ballistic missile issues are “a priority for the alliance” and reaffirmed a shared commitment to address those issues.”
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and National Defense Minister Suh Wook at the beginning of talks at the ministry. Note the floral flags between the tables! pic.twitter.com/c3Ei8nOabA
— James A. Garamone (@GaramoneDODNews) March 18, 2021
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