Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at a meeting with Gen. Sher Mohammad Karimi, Chief of the General Staff of the Afghan Army, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Apr. 6, 2013. (Photo by D. Myles Cullen)
WASHINGTON – Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will host South Korean military leaders at the Pentagon this month for long-planned consultative meetings, a senior defense official said today.
Pentagon Press Secretary George Little told reporters that such senior-level meetings are important to maintaining effective cooperation between the two nations’ militaries. The last such meetings took place in October, he added, saying the two countries agreed then to hold an additional meeting this month.
Little said the annual U.S.-South Korea Foal Eagle exercise now underway in South Korea is proceeding normally, despite North Korea’s recent threats of attack.
“These exercises are important as a demonstration of alliance assurance and deterrence assurance,” he said. “We have been responsible and prudent in how we conduct these exercises.”
Little didn’t comment on news reports of missile movements or launch preparations by the North Korean military, but he said Pyongyang’s recent rhetoric has been “bellicose, overheated and unproductive” and the country’s leaders need to “behave in a different way.”
“They really do need to come into compliance with their international obligations, and further provocative action would be regrettable,” he said.