US military top officer pledges to defend S. Korea

WASHINGTON: The United States is committed to defending close ally South Korea, its top military officer has said, amid another spike in tensions between Seoul and North Korea.

General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made the comments in a phone call to a senior South Korean counterpart on Friday, as a North Korean deadline loomed for Seoul to halt loudspeaker propaganda broadcasts across the border or face military action.

“Chairman Dempsey reaffirmed the unwavering commitment of the United States to the defense of the ROK (South Korea) and reiterated the strength of the US-ROK alliance,” a Pentagon statement said.