The chairman of South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) on Wednesday asked his US counterpart to deploy strategic military assets to the Korean Peninsula in a bid to counter North Korea's evolving nuclear and missile threats, the military said.
Gen. Lee Sun-jin made the request during his phone talks with Gen. Joseph Dunford, the JCS was quoted as saying by Yonhap Thursday.
The move comes as new US Defense Secretary James Mattis is scheduled to visit South Korea on Thursday and Friday on his first overseas trip since he took office. The visit is seen as a bid to underscore the US commitment to the Seoul-Washington alliance.
North Korea has bolstered its war rhetoric as its leader Kim Jong-un said in his New Year's message that Pyongyang has entered the final stage of preparations to test-fire an intercontinental ballistic missile.