SEOUL, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- Top commanding generals of the United States on Tuesday held a rare press conference in South Korea to reaffirm U.S. commitment to the defense of its ally, South Korea, against nuclear and missile threats from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).
Adm. Harry Harris, chief of the U.S. Pacific Command, held the press conference at the Osan Air Base outside Seoul along with visiting commander of U.S. Strategic Command Gen. John Hyten and Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, director of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency.
The top-level U.S. military leaders arrived in South Korea ahead of the annual South Korea-U.S. joint military drills, codenamed Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG), that kicked off Monday. The computerized command post exercise will last until next Thursday.
It was very unusual for top U.S. military generals to gather in South Korea for public statements on the DPRK issue.
Harris, who oversees the U.S. armed forces covering the Asia-Pacific region, said the United States is always ready to defend the region, reaffirming U.S. commitment to its allies including South Korea and Japan.
He said it would be important to work for "diplomatic solutions to the challenge presented by (top DPRK leader) Kim Jong Un," according to local media reports.
The commander said a strong diplomatic effort should be backed by a strong military effort, adding that combat power should be used to support diplomacy.