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The U.S.-South Korea Alliance: Ready to defend

While deterrence is the goal, U.S. affirms alliance is prepared for any threat.

It is commonly stated that the Korean War was from from 1950 to 1953, but officially that war never ended, having been halted by armistice between the belligerent powers rather than a peace treaty. And that armistice was interrupted periodically throughout the Cold War and the years of instability in the North Korea that followed.

Although conflict would likely bring additional allied forces to the Korean Peninsula, America’s top military leaders have asserted that forces already in the Republic of Korea are capable of defending against the DPRK.


Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Army Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, the alliance commander in Korea, said the capabilities already in South Korea are enough to defend against a strike from Kim Jong Un, the North Korean dictator.

Both men told reporters at the headquarters for Combined Forces Command that U.S. and South Korean officials will continue to examine the threats from North Korea and make adjustments to the force as they are needed and agreed upon….

However, the two stopped short of speaking to the larger strategic issue of what would happen in the event of a North Korean attack on U.S. soil (such as Guam):

“What we would do in the event of an attack on Guam — or missiles being launched towards Guam — is a decision that will … be made by the president of the United States and he will make that in the context of our alliance,” the chairman said.

“Our job — General Brooks and I — is to make sure our leadership has options available to them to properly respond.” The men have two priorities, he explained.


Featured image courtesy of

In this time of heightened tension, those of us who have served past tours in Korea are particularly concerned for the safety and well-being of our troops in the country and for the Korean people. Know our thoughts are with you.

For additional background reading on Korea, please see our previous post here.

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