Top US general reaffirms commitment to Japan amid North Korea tensions


Top US general reaffirms commitment to Japan amid North Korea tensions

"Wrong" actions of the United States with regard to Taiwan, and the U.S. military's South China Sea patrols and deployment of an advanced anti-missile system in South Korea have had a large, negative influence on military trust between Beijing and Washington, a top Chinese military leader said on Thursday.

"We have many, many hard issues where we don't necessarily share the same perspective", Joseph Dunford, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, reportedly told Fang Fenghui, chief of the Joint Staff Department of the People's Liberation Army during a visit to Beijing. "But what Secretary [of State Rex] Tillerson has articulated is that the diplomatic and economic pressure will cease the testing, cease the development of nuclear programs and set, perhaps, the political conditions for moving forward in the broader issues that affect North and South Korea". Mr Moon wants to engage the North. -South Korean military exercises that enrage the North each year could make diplomacy even more hard.

He said: "We hope for a peaceful resolution but we needed to seriously have a conversation about what might happen if there was military action".

U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed not to allow North Korea to develop nuclear missiles that could hit the U.S. mainland but Pyongyang sees its nuclear arsenal as protection against Washington and its partners in Asia.

He was responding to remarks by a top Trump aide ruling out military action over North Korea's nuclear programme.

"Our alliance is rock solid, in fact in my personal view this is the greatest alliance on earth", he said as he met Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday.

The UN's latest sanctions on North Korea are apparently having an effect in China. Pyongyang has previously fired missiles and taken other steps in response to the annual exercises.

Tensions have since eased somewhat since North Korea said Kim doesn't immediately plan to fire the missiles.

Both sides have since dialed back the rhetoric somewhat. The opposition Liberty Korea Party on Wednesday adopted the demand as its official party line, saying that the presence of such weapons would strengthen deterrence against the North.

Speaking to reporters, Dunford said the main deliverable for his trip was the signing of a framework agreement for a joint staff dialogue mechanism.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (R), together with Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono (L), holds a news conference after their U.S. -Japan Security talks at the State Department in Washington, U.S., August 17, 2017. Defense officials have said such a rise was desirable but finance ministry officials are cautious because of Tokyo's mammoth public debt.

North Korea has repeatedly threatened to target Japan, which hosts around 54,000 US military personnel, as well as South Korea and the United States with its missiles.

The United States and North Korea are in a tense standoff sparked by Pyongyang's recent missile tests and threats to fire them toward Guam.

The transcript was sent to The Associated Press Thursday by North Korea's U.N. Mission. The liquid-fuel missile is created to be fired from road mobile launchers and has been described by North Korea as built for attacking Alaska and Hawaii.