The top general of Pentagon has said the US military is combative ready for anything from North Korea in the face of Pyongyang’s ominous vow of a “Christmas gift” if Washington does not act to ease tensions.
General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, saidw that “Korea is one of those places in the world where we’ve always maintained high levels of readiness,”
“The US alliance with Japan and South Korea is “rock-solid,” he added.
“I think it’s prepared to defend the interests of the United States, Japan and South Korea at a moment’s notice,”.
Milley refused to say whether US and allied forces in the region had stepped up readiness in the face of the possibility that North Korea could test a new nuclear-capable missile shortly.
“North Korea has indicated a variety of things. And I think you’re aware of all those. So we are prepared for whatever,”
US Defense Secretary Mark Esper also said the US was prepared “to fight tonight” if necessary, but noted the need for diplomacy with North Korea.
“I remain hopeful that we could get the process started again and remain on the diplomatic path,” Esper said.
Pyongyang has expressed frustration over the lack of sanctions relief following three summits with President Donald Trump.
In Seoul, he referred Pyongyang’s comments “so hostile and negative and so unnecessary.”
He urged North Korea to restart discussions.
“It is time for us to do our jobs. Let’s get this done. We are here and you know how to reach us.”
A provocative missile test, he added, “will be most unhelpful in achieving lasting peace on the Korean peninsula.”