During a press briefing at the Pentagon on Thursday, Joint Staff Vice Director Navy Rear Admiral William Byrne Jr. said the U.S. hopes North Korea will refrain from any nuclear and long-range missile tests. as speculation simmers that such actions could be in the pipeline in the coming weeks.
While Byrne did not share any further information on a possible provocation, he said the regime has made commitments and words the U.S. hope they abide by.
However, the Pentagon official noted the U.S. remains cautious and ready, saying Washington has been taking Pyeongyang's recent uptick in rhetoric seriously.
He added that, together with South Korea, the U.S. is "putting the appropriate defenses in place" to meet such threats.
Asked if the Pentagon will now reconsider the suspension of large-scale exercises, Byrne said the U.S. is always reviewing the next steps in maintaining readiness, but emphasized it's a commitment they made as a sign of good faith in order to allow room for negotiations with the North.
However, he says the fact that large-scale exercises have been scaled back does not mean training has stopped, adding smaller-scale training continues around the clock.
Lee Seung-jae, Arirang News.