S. Korea, U.S. discussing deterrence against N. Korean threat
Updated: 2020-06-19 17:05:00 KST
A senior Pentagon official says North Korea continues to pose an "extraordinary" threat to the Asia-Pacific region and South Korea and the U.S. are communicating to make sure they're prepared.
David Helvey, the U.S. acting assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs, told reporters Thursday that it's difficult to tell what Pyeongyang might do in the coming days or weeks.
But he stressed that, through the recent demolition of the inter-Korean joint liaison office, Seoul and Washington have been reminded that they need to be vigilant.
He said Washington and Seoul are reviewing options, which might include resuming their joint military drills or deploying U.S. strategic assets.
Further discussions are expected to take place in bilateral video talks between South Korea's Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo and U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper.
Sources say that meeting will take place around the 30th of this month.
Meanwhile, to deal with North Korea, Washington is also asking for Beijing's cooperation.
U.S. Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific affairs David Stilwell confirmed that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and senior Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi did discuss ways to respond to the North Korean threat at their meeting on Wednesday.
Stilwell stressed that North Korea is one of the areas in which Washington and Beijing can cooperate and this would help bring Pyeongyang back to the negotiating table.
Oh Jung-hee, Arirang News.