Wednesday, 23 October, 2019

U.S. seeks 'effective' ties with China's military

Christy Curtis | 15 August, 2017, 00:30

General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, will meet with senior military officials along with Moon, according to an official with South Korea's Blue House who asked not to be identified.

"The problem is that Kim Jong Un is nothing like his father", said Nam Seong-wook, professor of North Korea Studies at Korea University in Seoul.

According to the Blue House, General Dunford emphasized that the mission of USA forces is to support Washington's efforts to diplomatically and economically pressure Pyongyang to denuclearize and that the "military option" is just in case those efforts fail.

"If the USA goes reckless by wielding a nuclear stick before its rival armed with nukes despite the repeated warnings of the DPRK, it would precipitate its self-destruction", the agency said, using the abbreviation for North Korea's official name.

He said that he will discuss military options if the "diplomatic and economic pressurization campaign" fails. He said he also spoke to Korean leaders about his trip to China, "and the messages we would be delivering when we met with our Chinese counterparts".

The North in turn threatened to test-fire its missiles towards the US Pacific island of Guam. The US and its allies warned Kim against such a move, and Japan deployed four Patriot missile interceptors into the western part of the country.

"I believe there are two things we are clear about: one, our responsibility to defend against attack, two, our requirement to make sure we have a decisive response in the event of attack". "We are seeking peaceful resolution to the crisis right now".

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"But as tensions have spiked with the North's threat against the United States, it has become really hard for Moon to make such overtures".

Seoul, a vibrant metropolitan area of some 25 million people, lies within range of North Korea's conventional artillery stationed just 30 miles to the North. Hundreds of thousands of Americans, including more than 28,000 US troops, also live in South Korea.

Washington is insistent on maximizing economic sanctions and keeping up pressure on the North to stop its pursuit of nuclear weapons. It would then be up to leader Kim Jong-un as to when to fire the missiles-during the exercises, conceivably.

The upcoming military exercises by the USA and South Korea occur every year. "There are 660,000 South Koreans who are on active duty at any given time in defense of South Korea, and we are their partner, their ally", he said. They singled out a cessation of provocative threats and weapons tests as a "sincere indication" of its "good faith" for talks, while calling for Beijing to make greater use of its sway over its cash-strapped neighbor.

In a fresh warning, Pyongyang's official media on Monday lashed out at the allies for the upcoming Ulchi Freedom Guardian annual military exercise, saying an "unwanted trivial, accidental spark" could lead to a full-blown nuclear war.

Though the U.S. military is "always locked and loaded", the administration is now taking "all possible actions short of military action" to tackle the North Koran threats, including "a very determined diplomatic effort", the general said.

"We're not closer to war than a week ago but we are closer to war than we were a decade ago", McMaster said Sunday on ABC's "This Week". "That's all we are preparing for".

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