Transcript for Pentagon Calls North Korean Threats 'Period of Tension'
This is period of tension on the Korean Peninsula and in the north Koreans have made -- a period of tension that's unfortunate. But we -- -- it is overheated on hopeful and constructive and irresponsible rhetoric coming out of -- North Korean regime. We want peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula we want that. For us we want four or South Korean allies. In the north Koreans engage in this kind of bellicose rhetoric. It's isolating themselves. That is self defeating for them. They can choose the path of peace for the past the provocation. We want the path -- peace right now there on the path of provocation. And they need to switch planes how -- US can respond to these latest threats. We are engaged in a process -- Working through these issues and a calm cool collected manner. We are not about provocation were about showing alliance insurance and -- assurance. And by that I mean we want -- shortstop for allies but also our Japanese allies and -- -- -- of the region. That we are prepared to protect them in the wake of security threats. There were prepared to deter against aggression wherever originates. We saw this week show of force with the B two stealth bombers can we expect something more along those lines. This initial determination. Not necessarily initial force -- -- a demonstration of capabilities. We. -- believe are important to -- alliance with South Korea. And make no mistake about it we are going to make sure that we stay up with the current threats on the Korean Peninsula. And that we continue to -- those capabilities so that everyone knows in the region. And beyond that we are committed to peace and stability and confidence. What do we know about Kim -- and is he playing from his father's playbook his grandfather's. This cycle of provocation that we've seen recently is a pretty familiar cycle so we have -- in this playbook before. It's unfortunate because again it's -- an interest in North Korea from his. It is time for them to come into compliance with their own international obligations. Which they have clouded time and time again and -- -- -- them. We know that it could just be one slight miscalculation this leader is roughly thirty years old. How do you prevent something that. Miscalculation is a risk and we take this rhetoric very seriously secretary -- earlier this week. We have to. -- we've always done in the sixty -- alliance with South Korea and that is being prepared to respond if necessary. We don't want conflict we want peace we want stability. But make no mistake about it we're prepared to do we have to do to respond to -- -- -- what's the latest assessment how close is North Korea to being able. To launch something that would strike mainland US. Well we're concerned about their growing capabilities which they continue to demonstrate they have nuclear capabilities they have long range missile capabilities. We're prepared to. Tackle those and respond if necessary. We are concerned. But we think that we can successfully. Pickles on the processor and this week's training exercise why does the -- two chosen was that already pre planned it was -- something that was sort of -- last minute. No -- we've conducted joint military exercises with the South Koreans for very long time and those. Exercises have a different character complexion -- time. The B two flights of -- B 52. Points were part and exercise to -- for the South Koreans that we are committed. -- alliance and to their defense and with the potential threats. We make choices based on a range of factors in consultation with our -- -- allies and we chose to show an extended deterrence capability with a B two is there anything you can say with certainty that we know. -- -- -- As you can imagine the North Korean regime doesn't have me on speed dial so -- can't exactly. No what her innermost thoughts are but what we do know is -- -- It's a leader who are young leader who was recently engaged in the -- provocative. Talk and provocative action. And we hope the -- out again within his vote on interest it's in the -- and Korean regime's on its considerable Austrian people's own interest. Do the right thing and that's to engage in constructive dialogue in a constructive behavior and ultimately George where is all of its -- what's your assessment. Well if history is any guide then we -- get out of the cycle of provocation. And tensions will eventually be forward. I can't say for sure where things are obviously because they can't get in the minds we'll bring -- right. We want the path of peace and stability and we hope that history is organizing that's where we went of -- the day. But we're very mindful of the growing North Korean threat and we have to stay on. The latest threats from North Korea declaring a state of war what's your assessment are we close to war. Or ineptitude no clearer minister of war with the North Korea we believe that this is a part of their. Overheated rhetoric and it's something that we think they should report. Again we want stability we want peace or the Korean Peninsula in the region. And that kind of talk is -- are you surprised that we're hearing. The rhetoric escalate this awful. Don't distance rhetoric that we've seen in the past I'm sure that I would say it's surprising to us. Its -- -- And -- US view this as a state of work. We we view this as a period attention we're not at war with North Korea right -- and we hope to pursue. The path of peace not the -- -- provocation. The north Koreans have adopted the latter they need to --
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