USA admiral says diplomacy key to resolving North Korea crisis

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 22, 2017

"The US should pay heed to the statement of the DPRK government that we would not rule out the use of any final means", warned another article. "It would seem odd to people there if we offered to act as mediators".

But its proposal for North Korea to suspend its arms programmes in return for the United States to halt military drills in the region has been ignored.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull earlier this month said Australia and the United States were "joined at the hip", and pledged Australia would come to the aid of its ally if there was an attack by North Korea.

North Korea's rapid progress in developing nuclear weapons and missiles capable of reaching the US mainland has fueled a surge in regional tension and United Nations -led sanctions appear to have failed to bite deeply enough to change its behavior.

The editorial added that the military exercises amount to "pouring gasoline on fire", and warned that the USA would not be able to "dodge the merciless strike" the regime claims it is prepared to launch.

President Moon called out on the North's leadership saying it is, in fact, Pyongyang's continued provocations that make the Seoul, Washington joint drills necessary.

But the U.S. has refused to back down. The secretary-general warned that tensions on the Korean peninsula are at their highest level in decades and said it's important now "to dial down the rhetoric and to dial up diplomacy".

The joint military drill "is aimed at checking civilian and military readiness to protect lives and safety of our people", Moon said. It will be of similar size to last year's event with no field training, she said.

President Donald Trump last week declared the US military "locked and loaded" and said he was ready to unleash "fire and fury" if North Korea continued to threaten the United States.

There are more than 28,000 USA service members stationed in South Korea.

The rogue state says "counter-measures of justice" will be enforced if Australia continues "blindly following" the US-led military presence in the area.

The drills end on Aug 31 and involve tens of thousands of troops as well as computer simulations created to prepare for war with a nuclear-capable North Korea.

"The joint exercise is the most explicit expression of hostility against us, and no one can guarantee that the exercise won't evolve into actual fighting", an editorial in the Rodong Sinmun, the North's official newspaper, said on Sunday, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported.

Every year in August, the South Korean and United States forces jointly hold military exercises which include the world's largest computer-simulated war games and involve several thousand troops from both countries, reports Efe news.

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