Tokyo: The top US military officer, Admiral
Mike Mullen, said on Thursday he feels a "real sense of urgency"
about building up three-way defence ties with South Korea and
Japan to deter North Korea.
The United States has conducted separate military
manoeuvres with its allies South Korea and Japan since North
Korea ramped up regional tensions with its deadly November 23
artillery attack on a South Korean border island.
Mullen said in Seoul yesterday that he had high hopes for
pacifist Japan`s participation in US-South Korean drills, to
promote regional stability and security after North Korea`s
bombardment killed four people on the island.
Asked about the comment in Tokyo today, he said: "I do
have a real sense of urgency about addressing the potential in
terms of the Korean peninsula that is much better addressed
with all of us together, in terms of showing strength and
getting to a point where we can deter North Korean behaviour."
"That benefits all of us," added Mullen, chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff, after talks with Japan`s Defence
Minister Toshimi Kitazawa.
The US and Japan have been key security allies since the
end of World War II. Japan hosts US bases while its own Self
Defence Forces are constrained by a pacifist constitution that
bars offensive military action.