- Associated Press - Monday, December 19, 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Defense Department on Monday said the alert readiness for U.S. forces on the Korean Peninsula was unchanged following the death of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il.

Pentagon spokesman George Little also said no unusual North Korean military movements had been detected since Mr. Kim’s death on Saturday after 17 years in power.

Mr. Little said U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta spoke Monday morning with Gen. Kim Kwan-jin, the South Korean defense minister, and reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to its alliance with South Korea and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Mr. Little said both men agreed that it was critical to remain prudent with respect to the security posture there.

Mr. Panetta made it clear that the U.S. stands with the South Korea in this time of uncertainty, Mr. Little said.