[Global Times reporter Baiyun Yi Global Times special correspondent Li Wen] U.S. Defense Secretary Esper told U.S. media in an interview on Tuesday that the United States would stand ready to fight on the Korean Peninsula if necessary and \"decide whether to restart U.S.-South Korean military exercises\" based on the country's next action. However, he said diplomatic and political consultations remained the best way to resolve the peninsula issue. South korea's central daily said it was the first time senior u.s. officials have made it clear that the u.s. will consider reopening joint exercises if north korea restarts intercontinental ballistic missile launches.
In an interview with the media, fox reported that esper urged \"north korea to exercise restraint\" and stressed that the u.s. was confident of its military response to curb \"bad behaviour\" and was ready to \"go to war tonight \".
North korean leader kim jong eun said during the fifth plenary session of the seventh central committee of the labour party that u.s. hostility and nuclear threats against north korea were intensifying and that north korea would soon launch \"new strategic weapons \", which was interpreted as north korea or would restart intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear tests. However, Reuters quoted an anonymous U.S. official as saying there was no indication that North Korea was preparing for an immediate long-range missile test.
The U.S. information site, North Korea News Network, believes Esper's comments show that the U.S. still hasn't given up the idea of prompting North Korea to abandon its nuclear program. \"Esper appears to be sticking to the Trump administration's recent talking point on the issue: the United States wants to continue negotiations with Pyongyang, but is ready to meet any challenges it may encounter.\"
The same day, Esper also gave an interview to MSNBC, and when asked if he intended to restart joint military exercises with South Korea, he replied,\" It depends on what North Korea does next.\" \"To keep the diplomatic door open, we did reduce the scale of the exercise. I think it's the right thing to do. But whatever we do, it won't have any impact on our ability to fight and win with north korea,\" esper stressed.\" In the coming months, we'll reconsider the matter in the light of changes in local conditions.\"
South Korea's Moneytoday news site analysis said Esper's stance was seen as a warning and suggestion from the U.S. that the U.S. and South Korea would revert to the previously reduced size of joint military exercises when North Korea appeared to test-fire intercontinental missiles and other acts across the \"red line.\" However, the central daily believes that esper made such a statement to urge north korea to return to the table. South korea's korean daily said that while esper did not specify how the korea-us joint military exercises would be restarted, given that he said he would \"watch for the next few months \", mr han is likely to discuss\" key decisions \"and\" vultures \"to resume routine military exercises held in spring. South korea and the u. s.had halted the \"key decisions\" and \"vultures\" of large-scale joint military exercises last year to help the u. s.-north korean nuclear-free negotiations, but instead carried out \"19-1 alliance exercises \"that were often and scaled down.
Another Yonhap news agency reported on Wednesday that North Korea late last year issued commemorative coins bearing the face of the launch of the intercontinental ballistic missile Mars-15 and the slogan \"Powerful military force is the truth to maintain peace.\" North korea's commemorative currency, a window into its foreign policy, could be understood as releasing information that the u.s. wants to change its attitude in the face of a stalemate in the u.s. dialogue.