Top US general says committed to working through difficulties with China

Rufina Vignone
Agosto 16, 2017

"It would be a terrible thing were a war to be conducted here on the peninsula, and that's why we're so focused on coming up with a peaceful way ahead", he said, according to Stars and Stripes.

"I am confident that the United States will respond to the current situation in a calm and responsible manner in line with our policy direction", Moon said.

The United States and North Korea have been trading barbs on potential military attacks, with Pyongyang threatening to fire four intermediate-range ballistic missiles over Japan to land in waters in the vicinity of the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, home to about 7,000 U.S. troops and 160,000 people.

Officials in China, South Korea, Japan and Russian Federation - the countries most directly at risk if a major war breaks out with North Korea - all appealed for calm and a return to diplomacy.

Dunford earlier told reporters traveling with him to Asia that he aims to "sense what the temperature is in the region". In the past, the North has used calendar events for displays of military prowess.

Faced with this aggressiveness, and Kim's refusal to talk to the South, Seoul has few options, analysts said.

That point was reinforced by US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis later in the day.

"Our job - General Brooks and I - is to make sure our leadership has options available to them to properly respond", Dunford said.

He urged North Korea to halt all provocations immediately and return to the dialogue table.

Abe told reporters in Tokyo that the two leaders "frankly exchanged opinions on the current North Korean situation", saying he appreciated Trump's "commitment to the safety of its allies".

Seoul is within easy striking distance of Pyongyang.

Also within range are numerous 28,500 United States troops stationed in the South.

"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. Pyongyang claims the drills are war preparation and has signalled it would back down in the face of any action by the US.

The paper, however, cautioned that if the retaliation leads to an attempt to overthrow the North Korean regime and "change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula", Beijing will intervene, without elaborating how. "They want to have direct talks with the United States", said Moon, who also holds the post of distinguished professor at Yonsei University in Seoul.

"The military dimension today is directly in support of that diplomatic and economic effort", he said.

In the opinion piece the pair called the Trump administration policy a reaction to previous administrations" "failed policy of "strategic patience, ' which expedited the North Korean threat".

The credit default swap (CDS) premium for South Korean foreign exchange stabilization bonds with a five-year maturity reached 70 basis points as of August 14, the highest level since 71 basis points on February 25, 2016, according to the data by the Korea Center for International Finance.

But South Korea's new president, Moon Jae-in, appeared to rebuke Trump's threats last week to unleash "fire and fury" on North Korea if it continued making threats.

Trump signed an executive memorandum Monday afternoon instructing his top trade negotiator to launch an investigation into Chinese intellectual property violations, a move that could eventually result in severe trade penalties.

"This is just the beginning", Mr Trump added. "We can't pinpoint the exact timing, but it will take at least one to two more years", he said.

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