The US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has given assurance to South Korea that an “ironclad” commitment is given to its security which includes keeping U.S. troop levels unaltered as a diplomatic means of getting North Korea to agree to the United States denuclearization terms.
But Mattis added that U.S. and South Korean forces would remain “united, vigilant and ready”.
Trump has also drawn criticism from national security analysts for an agreement that emerged from his June 12 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that had few details on how Pyongyang would surrender its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
“U.S. commitment to the Republic of Korea remains ironclad and the U.S. will continue to use the full range of diplomatic and military capabilities to uphold this commitment,” Mattis said in brief remarks ahead of talks at the South Korean defence ministry.
“And this includes maintaining the current U.S. force levels on the Korean peninsula.”
Mattis, however, failed to explain how the readiness of the joint military force of South Korea and US will be maintained.
“The recent decision to suspend the Freedom Guardian exercise creates increased opportunity for our diplomats to negotiate, increasing prospects for a peaceful solution on the Korean peninsula,” Mattis said, standing alongside his South Korean counterpart.
“At the same time, the U.S. and (South Korean) forces remain united, vigilant and ready to defend against any challenge.”