Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

US JCS Chief: Military Option against N. Korea Will Be "Horrific"

Citizens worried, but Seoul mum on Trump's N. Korea threat US military chief urges China to pressure North Korea
Dexter Carr | 19 August, 2017, 06:41

Neither Tillerson nor Mattis responded directly to strategist Steve Bannon's argument in an interview published Wednesday that there's no military solution to the North Korean threat.

The military-to-military contacts between the United States and China are important because there will always be some friction between the two countries, Gen Dunford said, adding that military contacts will lessen the chances of a miscalculation.

North Korea and the US exchanged threats of military action last week, with Pyongyang saying it will develop a plan to strike the US Pacific territory of Guam. "And then once we've got this policy, then we go to that policy and our public statements reflect that'".

The agreement will increase direct communications between the Pentagon and the Ba Yi, the headquarters of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, at the three-star level.

Fan Changlong, a vice chairman of China's powerful Central Military Commission, told Joseph Dunford, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, that mutual trust mechanisms between the two militaries had continued to improve, China's defense ministry said.

Sen. Lindsey Graham of SC, a Republican, told NBC News that Trump told him that "if thousands die, they're going to die over there".

Lim, in particular, assessed that the USA has sent a "resolute" and "balanced" message with regard to the issues related to the Korean Peninsula, while Sullivan emphasized that it is a stance of Washington to seek all diplomatic and economic measures to "peacefully" resolve the North's nuclear problem, the ministry said.

Kim said Tuesday that the North would "watch a little more" before making a decision on the Guam missile launch, a declaration Trump lauded as "very wise".

At a press conference in Seoul to mark his first 100 days in office on Thursday, Moon said, "If North Korea completes development of intercontinental ballistic missiles and weaponizes it with nuclear warheads, I will consider that a red line".

"I call upon the North Korean government: without worldwide cooperation and co-existence economic development is impossible", said Moon.

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But the USA and South Korea are set to begin their annual 10-day Ulchi Freedom Guardian joint exercises on Monday, involving tens of thousands of troops.

Moon's comments follow a spike in animosity generated by North Korea's warning that it might send missiles into waters near the USA territory of Guam, and by Trump's warlike language. This prompted Kim to announce a plan to test fire four intermediate-range missiles into waters near Guam - a USA territory in the Pacific that is home to American military bases.

"The alternative would have been both catastrophic and unacceptable!" -South Korean military exercises that enrage the North each year could make diplomacy even more hard.

In the meetings with Moon and other officials Monday, Dunford appeared to offer a modified version of the threats that Trump has issued over the past week.

Moon was elected in May after a near-decade of conservative rule that saw animosity deepen between the rival Koreas.

Moon, a liberal who favors engagement with the North, has kept mostly quiet over the past week.

He raised questions about a USA missile shield, pushed for dialogue with Kim and sought to mend ties with China, North Korea's main ally and benefactor.

And in Washington, senior officials, while insisting the U.S. military stands ready to respond to any aggression from Pyongyang, stressed that they are working in close coordination with both South Korea and Japan. Although peace and negotiation are painful and slow, we must pursue this path, " he said. "I think lots of effort and time could be necessary to overcome a decade of severed ties and to reopen a dialogue", said Moon.

In another fresh initiative, the South Korean president has also revealed that his government is willing to send a special representative to the northern neighbour if that step would help in easing the situation in the region.

"Both the United States and South Korea do not believe North Korea has yet completely gained re-entry technology in material engineering terms", Vice Defence Minister Suh Choo-suk said in televised remarks on Sunday for a Korea Broadcasting System (KBS) show.

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