U.S. Forces Korea Commander: Tensions Down, But Guard Still Up

While tensions are down along the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Korea, the process has not gone far enough for forces there to relax, the commander of U.S. Forces Korea told the Senate Armed Services Committee today.

Army Gen. Robert B. Abrams said the U.S.-South Korea military alliance is strong and effective. “Our combined force is a strategic deterrent postured to respond potential crisis or provocation and if called upon ready to defend the Republic of Korea and our allies in the region,” he said.

The general noted there are tremendous opportunities on the Korean Peninsula. Engagements continue among the United States, South Korea and North Korea. At the end of the month, President Donald J. Trump will meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in Vietnam.

No Change to North’s Military Capabilities

These engagements have led to a significant reduction in tension on the peninsula. North Korea has not conducted provocative missile launches that threaten its neighbors. “Diplomacy is creating the opportunity for North Korea to choose the path of denuclearization, forge a lasting peace and build a better future for its people,” Abrams said.

But despite the reduction in tensions, “little to no verifiable change has occurred in North Korea’s military capabilities,” the general said.

The North Korean army’s winter training cycle includes full-spectrum exercises at…

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