The Pentagon reiterated on Tuesday that any decision on the Seoul-Washington military drills will be made jointly by the allies.
Highlighting Washington's commitment to the alliance and joint security on the Korean Peninsula, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said that everything the U.S. does from a military perspective is done in close coordination with its South Korean allies.
While recognizing the North's recent warning to call off the drills, Kirby said nothing has changed on Washington's military readiness to defend the Korean Peninsula against threats.
Kirby also said that Seoul has NOT requested Washington to consider suspending the drills.
There has been speculation the allies might scale down, if not call off, the joint exercise set for mid-August in a bid to encourage inter-Korean talks.
Also on Tuesday, the U.S. said its offer of unconditional talks with North Korea whenever and wherever is still valid.
When asked if Washington is in contact with Pyeongyang, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said the U.S. has reached out, but added there's nothing to share right now.
While underscoring that it's up to the regime to respond positively, Price once again showed support for inter-Korean dialogue and welcomed the recent restoration of the two Korea's communication lines.
He then added that diplomacy and dialogue are essential to achieving complete denuclearization and permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula.
Kim Dami, Arirang News.