The US has been seeing rising tensions with foreign powers such as China and Russia, as well as North Korea. Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump have attempted peace efforts in recent years, yet military threats between the two countries remain relatively common.
On Sunday, the Pentagon issued a statement reaffirming its commitment to keeping “robust” combined defensive posture with the ability to respond to any situation.
It follows Kim Yo-jong threatening Pyongyang will take “a next step” against the South and gave an instruction for the army to take necessary measures.
The powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has taken a more prominent role in leadership after rumours the leader had died.
Seoul urged the North to comply with past inter-Korean agreements.
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John Supple, a Pentagon spokesperson, said in response to a query by Yonhap News Agency that the Pentagon is ready to respond if needed.
He said: “We remain committed to maintaining a robust combined defensive posture.”
While the comment was ostensibly in reply to the new North Korea threat, he declined to comment on the recent statements.
Kim Yo Jong has said she would leave the right to take the next step of retaliation against South Korea to North Korea’s military in a statement carried Saturday by KCNA.
Kim didn’t specify what the next action may be or when would be undertaken, but added: “I feel it is high time to surely break with the South Korean authorities.
“We will soon take the next action.”
KCNA also reported North Korea’s freeze in diplomatic relations with the US.
Foreign minister Ri Son Gwon said in a statement that US policies prove Washington remains a long-term threat to the North Korean state and its people.
Ri added after claiming the July 2018 Singapore summit provided no benefit to North Korea: “Never again will we provide the US chief executive with another package to be used for achievements without receiving any returns.
“Nothing is more hypocritical than an empty promise.”