The U.S. and its allies are prepared to use “rapid, lethal and overwhelming force,” if necessary, against North Korea, the commander of the U.S. Pacific Air Forces warned Saturday night.
The statement from Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, U.S. Pacific Air Forces commander, came after the militaries of the U.S., South Korea and Japan spent 10 hours conducting bomber-jet drills over the Korean Peninsula.
The training mission was a response to North Korea’s recent ballistic missile launches and nuclear program, and part of the U.S. regular commitment to defending its allies in the Asia-Pacific region, the general’s statement said.
“North Korea remains the most urgent threat to regional stability,” O’Shaughnessy said.
“Diplomacy remains the lead,” he said. “However, we have a responsibility to our allies and our nation to showcase our unwavering commitment while planning for the worst-case scenario.
“If called upon,” he added, “we are ready to respond with rapid, lethal and overwhelming force at a time and place of our choosing.”
North Korea conducted test launches of ICBMs on July 3 and July 28, and has claimed that its weapons can now reach the U.S. mainland.
The country’s recent…