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Pentagon: Washington is committed to the preparations and maneuvers of its forces on the Korean Peninsula

US Defense Department (Pentagon) spokesman John Kirby said that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is committed to keeping US forces on the Korean Peninsula "on standby" against North Korea's threats through continuing joint exercises with South Korean forces.

"We understand the importance of maneuvers and exercises to keep the forces ready, and there is no place more important than the Korean Peninsula ... I cannot say exactly what the exercise regime will look like, but (Austin) fully understands the need to stay on," Kirby added at a press conference. Willingness and we will stick to that. "

Kirby expressed his belief that the US forces in South Korea, which include about 28,500 soldiers stationed on the Korean Peninsula, are able to remain on standby despite the reduced scope of their training, and that they are still maintaining the appropriate level of training.

Kirby added that this is definitely what the Minister of Defense is committed to, as the slogan "Ready to fight tonight" is not just a slogan carried by the forces, but rather it means something in relation to the peninsula.

Washington had canceled or reduced many of the joint military exercises between US and South Korean forces in a diplomatic gesture after Washington and Pyongyang began nuclear negotiations in 2018.

The (Covid-19) pandemic also forced it to cancel the joint exercises scheduled for last March, which led to a reduction in training last August.

Pyongyang has long condemned the joint exercises, describing them as hostile and considered invasion experiments.

And last January, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called for an end to the exercises because it violated a military agreement signed by the two Koreas in 2018, he said.

South Korean Defense Minister Suh Wook confirmed that a joint exercise is planned to take place this spring season in cooperation with the United States, explaining that it will be a computer simulation without external training, and it comes within the framework of a normal program for defensive purposes.

North Korea has used military exercises in the past as an excuse to conduct its own weapons tests, prompting many observers to question whether Pyongyang is planning any provocations to welcome US President Joe Biden's new administration.

The nuclear-armed state held military parades last October, then earlier in January it displayed modern equipment, including a new ballistic missile launched by submarines.

Kirby acknowledged these new weapons in his recent statements, where he said that the Pentagon is aware of North Korea's military ambitions and its desire to enhance its military capabilities and knows exactly what those military capabilities are and the reasons they are designed to do so, indicating that the Pentagon will continue to ensure that it is in the position of preparedness it needs on the peninsula. Korean.

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