DoD Official: U.S. Military Continues ‘High State of Vigilance’ in Korea

May 24, 2018 | BY Lisa Ferdinando , DOD News
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The U.S. military continues its “maximum pressure campaign” in regard to North Korea, and U.S. forces on the Korean Peninsula are “ready to fight tonight,” the Pentagon’s chief spokesperson said today.

VIDEO | 00:20 | U.S. Forces Still Ready in Korea, Pentagon Spokesperson Says

Dana W. White confirmed Defense Secretary James N. Mattis spoke with President Donald J. Trump today, ahead of Trump announcing that he has terminated the planned June 12 summit in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

U.S. forces on the peninsula maintain their usual high state of vigilance, White and the director of the Joint Staff, Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., told reporters in a news briefing.

“In terms of we are ready to fight tonight -- that's always been the case,” White said. “Our position has always been to support our diplomatic-led effort.”

‘High State of Vigilance’

North Korea, or the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, has proven to be unpredictable in the past, McKenzie said. U.S. forces, he added, are ready to respond quickly to anything that could happen. He described the stance as the “normal state of vigilance” of the United States.

VIDEO | 00:30 | Budget Increase Fortifies Korean Defense, Joint Staff Director Says

“We maintain a very high state of vigilance in regard to the DPRK, and we will continue that going forward, to include our missile defense activities,” McKenzie said.

The general added the termination of the summit has not affected the military posture in any way. He further explained the recent budget will allow the military to address some readiness concerns, including the readiness of military forces that might be deployed in the event of operations on the Korean Peninsula.

(Follow Lisa Ferdinando on Twitter: @FerdinandoDoD)