US Forces in South Korea Put on Highest Level of Alert
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – United States forces in South Korea have been put on their highest level of alert starting from Monday in case of any provocation from North Korea following Pyongyang's nuclear test last week.
The commander of combined forces, Curtis Scaparrotti, madethe order during a visit to the Osan Air Base which is operated jointly by the US and South Korea, a United States Forces Korea (USFK) official said.
The US and its ally South Korea are in talks to send further strategic assets to the Korean peninsula, a day after a US B-52 bomber flew over the South in response to the test.
Media reports say a US aircraft carrier, B-2 bombers, submarines and F-22 fighters being considered for deployment to South.
"The United States and South Korea are continuously and closely having discussions on additional deployment of strategic assets," said Kim Min-seok, a spokesman at the South Korean defense ministry, declining to give specifics.
US and South Korean media said the strategic assets Washington was considering included the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier US Ronald Reagan, B-2 bombers, nuclear-powered submarines and F-22 stealth fighter jets, ABC News reported.
Seoul said on Monday it would restrict access to the jointly run Kaesong industrial complex just north of the heavily militarised inter-Korean border to the "minimum necessary level", starting from Tuesday.
North Korea said it exploded a hydrogen bomb last Wednesday, although the United States and experts doubt that the North had achieved such a technological advance in its fourth nuclear test.