WASHINGTON, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- Recent North Korea military maneuvers were a source of serious concern for the Pentagon, prompting an emergency review of the U.S. war plan in Korea.
The escalation of hostilities between Seoul and Pyongyang prompted top U.S. commanders to lead high-priority discussions about its strategy with South Korea counterparts when North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared a "quasi-state of war," CNN reported on Monday.
Pyongyang has since removed its declaration of partial war after the two sides struck a deal on Tuesday, but recent skirmishes raised fears among U.S. officials about North Korean intentions.
The Pentagon is still assessing the degree to which North Korean buildup is going on despite the agreement that led to the expression of regret from the North and the end of loudspeaker broadcasts from the South.
U.S. military intelligence concluded that North Korea had activated some air defense radar to detect incoming aircraft and deployed additional artillery near the DMZ. The North Korean Navy also deployed ships and a fleet of submarines, but some headed back to North Korean ports Monday for resupply, according to one unidentified U.S. official who spoke to CNN.
The Pentagon also saw unrelated evidence that Pyongyang may be getting ready for another test of its intercontinental ballistic missile in the weeks ahead.
"Anytime the North Koreans start playing games like this, you've got to take it seriously. Because you don't know what their next step will be," O'Hanlon said.
The Pentagon confirmed it had canceled a potential flight of a B-52 bomber that would have been part of the joint drills with South Korea due to the recent tensions.