Esper says he is confident of USFK troops readiness
By Lee Haye-ah
WASHINGTON, May 4 (Yonhap) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Monday that he is confident of the readiness of American troops in South Korea following the recent coronavirus outbreak.
Speaking with the Brookings Institution, he credited U.S. Forces Korea Commander Gen. Robert Abrams with preserving the readiness level.
"So I can confidently say that we're preserving the 'fight tonight' status readiness that we need on the peninsula with our ROK allies," Esper said, referring to South Korea's official name, the Republic of Korea.
"It's all about deterring bad behavior, and they've been able to do it and preserve the readiness as a result," he said, alluding to North Korean missile tests and other such provocations.
Esper also said the U.S. forces are augmented with off-peninsula resources, such as bombers, fighter aircraft and naval forces.
"The force is in very good shape," he said, noting that he speaks with Abrams on a weekly basis.
Some 28,500 American troops are stationed in South Korea to deter North Korean aggression, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War that ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty.
Actor Yoo Ah-in appears for questioning over alleged drug use
(LEAD) Four young Nigerian siblings killed in house fire in Ansan
Grandson of ex-President Chun apprehended at Incheon Int'l Airport over drug use
(LEAD) N. Korean leader urges more production of weapons-grade nuclear materials; photos of tactical nuclear warheads released
(2nd LD) N. Korea fires 2 SRBMs toward East Sea; U.S. aircraft carrier due in S. Korea for joint training
Yoon puts S. Korea-Japan relations back on track
Japan's removal of export curbs on S. Korea to boost supply chain stability, ease biz uncertainties
Yoon's summit with Biden to highlight S. Korea's 'pivotal' role in region: U.S. experts
(News Focus) Solution to forced labor issue shows Yoon's commitment to improving ties with Japan
Seoul's controversial plan for forced labor compensation reflects urgency of security partnership with Tokyo: experts