Mattis vows ‘ironclad’ commitment to South Korean security

Mattis vows ‘ironclad’ commitment to South Korean security
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Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisMacron: US 'retreat from Syria' won't change mission to eradicate ISIS Poll: Most Americans want US troops in Syria Fox's Griffin: Was told by diplomat that Syria attack was 'direct result' of US pullout decision MORE told South Korea that the U.S. has an "ironclad" commitment to South Korea on Thursday as Washington and Pyongyang continue to hammer out the details of the denuclearization agreement.

“U.S. commitment to the Republic of Korea remains ironclad and the U.S. will continue to use the full range of diplomatic and military capabilities to uphold this commitment,” Mattis said prior to a meeting with his South Korean counterpart, Song Young-moo in Seoul, according to Reuters. 

“And this includes maintaining the current U.S. force levels on the Korean peninsula,” he continued. 

Mattis said that U.S. and South Korean forces would be “united, vigilant and ready," adding that the decision to put off its joint military drills with South Korea would make dialogue with North Korea easier. 

“The two ministers agreed to continue exploring confidence and peace-building measures as long as North Korea continues dialogue in good faith,” Mattis and Song said in a joint statement. 

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Mattis's trip comes weeks after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump knocks BuzzFeed over Cohen report, points to Russia dossier DNC says it was targeted by Russian hackers after fall midterms BuzzFeed stands by Cohen report: Mueller should 'make clear what he's disputing' MORE met face-to-face in Singapore and signed an agreement committing the U.S. to unspecified security guarantees in exchange for a denuclearized Korean peninsula.

Trump said earlier this month that the U.S. no longer faced a nuclear threat from North Korea. 

"Just landed - a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office," Trump said in a tweet. "There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea. Meeting with Kim Jong Un was an interesting and very positive experience. North Korea has great potential for the future!"

However, Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense: Second Trump-Kim summit planned for next month | Pelosi accuses Trump of leaking Afghanistan trip plans | Pentagon warns of climate threat to bases | Trump faces pressure to reconsider Syria exit Pompeo planning to meet with Pat Roberts amid 2020 Senate speculation Trump to meet with top North Korean official to discuss 'fully verified' denuclearization MORE corrected Trump on Wednesday, saying that the U.S. still faces a nuclear threat from North Korea. 

"I'm confident what he intended there was, 'we did reduce the threat,'" Pompeo said, referring to Trump's comment. "I don't think there's any doubt about that."