S. Korea’s military chief calls for ‘thorough readiness’ against N. Korean threats

SEOUL– South Korea’s top military officer called Monday for a “thorough readiness” posture against possible North Korean threats as he inspected a key command post for air operations amid ongoing major air drills between the South and the United States.

Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) Chairman Gen. Kim Seung-kyum made the remarks as he visited the Air Force Operations Command’s Korea Air and Space Operations Center and other air defense units, citing recent provocations from Pyongyang, including continued ballistic missile launches.

“Maintain a thorough readiness posture against various threats,” Kim instructed officials at the command in Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, 70 kilometers south of Seoul, according to his office. “In case of an enemy provocation, maintain an operational posture that will allow a stern response in terms of self-defense to thoroughly punish the enemy.”

Kim then visited the armed service’s Air and Missile Defense Command at the same base and ordered officials to maintain a “24-hour” monitoring and response posture, citing possible missile launches by Pyongyang that can be carried out at “any time.”

He also made a visit to the 19th Fighter Wing in Chungju, 147 km south of Seoul, to check its combined wartime operational capabilities as the unit takes part in drills with the U.S. this week.

Kim said the training will serve as an opportunity to boost the allies’ combined defense posture by strengthening their air forces’ inter-operability, according to the JCS.

The five-day Vigilant Storm exercise, which kicked off earlier in the day, mobilizes some 240 aircraft, including South Korean F-35A and U.S. F-35B stealth fighters.

The drills come after a series of provocations by Pyongyang in recent weeks, including its firing of two short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea on Friday.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

scroll to top