Pentagon reaffirms ‘robust’ defensive posture after N.Korea threats

(141031) — WASHINGTON D.C., Oct. 31, 2014 (Xinhua) — US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (L) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey hold a press briefing at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Oct. 30, 2014. (Xinhua/Yin Bogu)

Washington/Seoul, June 15 (IANS) The Pentagon has reaffirmed its commitment to keeping a “robust” combined defensive posture to respond to any situation involving North Korea, after Pyongyang hinted at military action against South Korea, it was reported on Monday.

On Saturday, Kim Yo-jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, threatened that Pyongyang will take “a next step” against the South and gave an instruction for the army to take necessary measures, reports Yonhap News Agency.

Seoul urged the North to comply with past inter-Korean agreements.

“We remain committed to maintaining a robust combined defensive posture,” John Supple, a Pentagon spokesperson said in response to a query by Yonhap News Agency.

But he declined to comment on the recent statements by the North Korean government.

Inter-Korean ties have chilled as the North has released a spate of strongly worded statements slamming the South for failing to stop North Korean defectors from sending anti-Pyongyang leaflets into the North.

The North has also warned that it may scrap a 2018 inter-Korean military pact signed to reduce border tensions and destroy the joint liaison office.

The US State Department expressed disappointment last week after the North vowed to cut off all inter-Korean communication lines and refused to answer the South’s phone calls via liaison and military hotlines.

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