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Head of the U.S. military’s Pacific Command says diplomacy — not military action, is the answer to North Korea crisis

U.S. Pacific Command chief says diplomacy — not military action — key to North Korea crisis, Japan Times 22 Aug 17 , REUTERS, AP  The head of the U.S. military’s Pacific Command said on Tuesday it was more important to use diplomacy to counter North Korea’s missile threat rather than consider what actions by the reclusive North might trigger a pre-emptive strike.

Adm. Harry Harris was in South Korea to observe annual joint military drills with the South Korean military, which the North called a step toward nuclear conflict masterminded by the U.S. and South Korean “war maniacs.”

 “So we hope and we work for diplomatic solutions to the challenge presented by Kim Jong Un,” Harris told reporters at a U.S. air base in South Korea about an hour from the capital, Seoul, referring to the North Korean leader.

He said diplomacy was “the most important starting point” in response to the North’s threat, when asked what actions by North Korea might trigger a pre-emptive U.S. strike against Pyongyang……

The United States and South Korean began long-planned joint military exercises on Monday called the Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG), which the allies have said were purely defensive and did not aim to increase tension on the Korean Peninsula.

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

A North Korean military spokesman repeated the threat of “merciless retaliation” against the United States for readying a preemptive strike and a war of aggression, using the drills as an excuse to mount such an attack.

“The U.S. will be wholly held accountable for the catastrophic consequences to be entailed by such reckless aggressive war maneuvers, as it chose a military confrontation,” the unnamed spokesman said in comments carried by the North’s official KCNA news agency.

The North claims the drills are an invasion rehearsal, senior U.S. military commanders on Tuesday dismissed calls to pause or downsize exercises they called crucial to countering a clear threat from Pyongyang…….https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/08/22/asia-pacific/u-s-pacific-command-chief-says-diplomacy-not-military-action-key-north-korea-crisis/#.WZykbPgjHGg

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August 23, 2017 - Posted by | North Korea, politics international, USA

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