U.S. say it’s committed to defend S. Korea
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – The top U.S. military officer said Wednesday that the U.S. commitment to helping South Korea defend itself from North Korean aggression is “unquestioned.”
Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, the U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned that North Korea should not mistake South Korean restraint as a lack of resolve. “Nor should they interpret it as willingness to accept continued attacks,” Mullen said.
Mullen called a North Korean artillery attack last month that killed four South Koreans “unprovoked.” He also pressed a reluctant China to use its influence to rein in its ally Pyongyang. Mullen said China appeared unwilling to use its enormous influence over the North to push Pyongyang to change its ways.
Mullen vowed to hold more joint drills with South Korea to deter any North Korean aggression
South Korea and the United States staged drills last week off the west coast of the peninsula in response to North Korea’s Nov. 23 artillery barrage on a South Korean island near the Koreas’ disputed sea border.
The drills “sent a strong signal of our intent to deter future acts of aggression. We must do more … together,” Mullen said in a joint news conference with his South Korean counterpart, Gen. Han Min-koo, after the two met in Seoul.