The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said it was stepping up intelligence and surveillance activities in the Yellow Sea between China and the Korean Peninsula, “in light” of recent North Korean launches that ” violate several UN Security Council resolutions and pose a threat.” to the DPRK’s neighbors and the international community.”
“In light of this, on March 7, 2022, the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command ordered increased intelligence gathering, surveillance, and reconnaissance activities in the Yellow Sea, as well as increased readiness of our forces to ballistic missile defense in the region. Our commitment to the defense of the Republic of Korea and Japan remains steadfast,” the statement read.
The Biden administration has publicly condemned the tests, calling them an “unnecessary provocation,” but has so far made no public changes to the preparedness or posture of forces in the region. The United States has acknowledged that the tests have taken place in the past, but as recently as February the United States said the tests did not pose a threat.
The public adjustment of US INDOPACOM readiness and increased intelligence gathering and surveillance in the region is a signal from the Biden administration that it needs to strengthen its military posture to ensure that the United States and its allies in the region such as South Korea and Japan are protected against the North Korean missile. trials.
A senior US defense official has called North Korea’s recent missile tests “provocative”, saying additional steps have been taken to ensure “US readiness meets the requirements” of protection of US interests and allies.
“The North has been conducted as you have all documented now a series of additional launches and tests, provocative launches and tests, and we are, we believe we have a duty to ensure that our readiness meets requirements,” the official told reporters. Wednesday.
North Korea launched a single ballistic missile on March 5 that traveled about 270 kilometers, or about 170 miles, and reached an altitude of 560 kilometers, or about 350 miles, according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. South Korea.
“Although we have assessed that this event does not pose an immediate threat to U.S. personnel, territory, or that of our allies, we will continue to monitor the situation. The U.S. Commitment to the Defense of the Republic of Korea and Japan remains rock solid,” he added. a statement from US INDOPACOM said in response to a test in February.