In the past several weeks, tensions on the Korean Peninsula have been mounting, with North Korean threatening South Korean media companies and Seoul making remarks warning of possible retaliation. Alongside this exchange of threats, speculation that North Korea might soon conduct a nuclear test is also ever-present, despite Pyongyang denying that it plans to do so.
Today, following the increase in aggressive dialogue, General James Thurman, the commander of U.S. Forces Korea (USFK), revealed that in order to “enhance war-fighting capabilities” in South Korea he has requested the deployment of a variety of additional military assets from the Pentagon.
Speaking to a forum hosted by the Association of the South Korean Army, General Thurman detailed what he had asked for, including attack helicopters and missiles, to achieve “increased capabilities in terms of theatre ballistic missile defense” so as to “maintain the highest level of readiness.”
"In order to enhance war-fighting capabilities, I have asked for prioritization to receive an additional attack-reconnaissance squadron to bring to our combat aviation brigade," Thurman added.
He stated he was confident that the U.S. military would meet his request.
Meanwhile, in yesterday’s Department of State daily press briefing in Washington, spokeswoman Victoria Nuland commented welcomed North Korea’s claim not to have the desire to conduct a nuclear test, but reminded reporters that “the fundamental issue hasn’t changed, which is our expectation that they’ll live up to their international standards.”