Moon to meet top U.S. military officer amid rising tension on peninsula

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He said the US has a "pretty good idea" of North Korea's intentions, but Pompeo declined to provide specifics. They said the United States and its allies no longer can afford to stand by as North Korea pushes ahead with the development of a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile.

The reported meeting follows a week of heightened tensions between North Korea and the United States.

The top U.S. general arrived in South Korea on Sunday for a two-day visit aimed at enhancing bilateral security cooperation, amid heightened tensions after North Korea threatened to create "enveloping fire" in waters near Guam.

Yesterday, Deputy Unification Minister Chun Hae Sung said Seoul was seeking to ease tensions and the door for dialogue with North Korea was still open. Dunford is expected to emphasize Washington's commitment to the two countries' alliance and provide extended deterrence, including the USA nuclear umbrella.

More recently, Defense Secretary James Mattis has sought to reassure USA partners in the region.

"The reaction in North Korea that we are intending to get is an is an understanding that America is no longer going to have the strategic patience that it's had that has permitted him to continue to develop his weapons program", Pompeo said.

President Donald Trump speaks as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and national security adviser H.R. Mc Master listen at Trump Nationa
President Donald Trump speaks as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and national security adviser H.R. Mc Master listen at Trump Nationa

But Trump on Friday appeared to set another red line - the mere utterance of threats - that would trigger a USA attack against North Korea and "big, big trouble" for Kim. "Nobody loves a peaceful solution better than President Trump". Trump also said the US was considering tighter sanctions against North Korea.

China, North Korea's main benefactor, agreed to harsh United Nations sanctions earlier this month even while calling on all sides to take a step back and negotiate a solution.

After his South Korea visit, Dunford is expected to travel to China and Japan as part of his Northeast Asia tour.

Dunford will leave for China on Monday.

"The president's rhetoric could be aimed at China, but largely it is aimed at North Korea, trying to deter", Roehrig said. "They may continue launching missile tests but they don't want a war, and the US doesn't want military action either".

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